Block 5: Hot Tent Time Machine

Keerti Gopal and Julia Esparza

Screams echoed across campus as dancers, following a brisk morning jog around Norris, made their way into Block 5 of Dance Maraton.

Dancers filed into the ground floor of Norris for a “breakfast of champions,” before re-entering the tent for recorded words of encouragement from former Vice President Joe Biden, Stephen Colbert and Josh Peck and performances from Deeva and Significant Others. As they entered their 12th hour, dancers fought to keep their energy up.

Biden added to the cacophony of praise for the dancers, thanking them for their commitment.

“I really appreciate what you’re doing and most of all I’m thankful that you’re engaged, you’re engaged. You guys can change the world man, so keep dancing,” Biden said.

In his video Stephen Colbert (Communications ’86) and Cookie Monster encouraged participants to stay motivated and keep dancing.

“You could have been anywhere tonight, grabbing a rodeo burger at the BK lounge then passing out at the Deuce or hitting up the Deuce then passing out at the BK lounge,” Colbert said. “You might want to give up, but that’s when you need to dig down deep within yourselves and think of the kids.”

Meg Peterson, a dancer in the all-female Bollywood fusion dance group Deeva, said she hoped their performance would help wake the dancers up. The Weinberg senior, who said she danced in the marathon her freshman year and has performed there with Deeva for the past three, said she was well aware of the challenge the morning brings.

“I know that especially going into the next day and you’ve been on your feet for so long you’re kind of feeling like it’s dragging,” Peterson said. “I’m really glad to be here and hopefully get everything pumped again, and just be able to share what we can with the dancers.”

Deeva’s set was followed by a performance by all-female a capella group Significant Others. During the performances, some dancers took the opportunity to get a few minutes of rest, closing their eyes, lying down on the floor or resting their heads in their hands.

Communication freshman Matthew Krise said he was enjoying the experience but that the exhaustion was catching up to him.

“I don’t know where I’m at,” Krise said. “I can comprehend that it’s a good time, it’s just shrouded in layers and layers of sleeplessness.”

Krise added that he was annoyed by the lack of bathroom breaks, and the rule prohibiting dancers from going to the bathroom on their own.

“My bladder doesn’t work around their schedule, I got to pee when I got to pee,” Krise said.

After 8 a.m. DM organizers announced the end of the lockdown, and began a campaign to raise $33,000 in 10 hours. With the additional donations, DM aims to provide 1,000 KidPacks, which cost $33 each, to kids who are homeless or live in low-income situations, said NUDM Marketing and Media Co-Chair Nicole Bankowski.

Cradles to Crayons founder and CEO Lynn Margherio joined the dancers in the tent to offer encouragement and thank participants.

“Your feet moving are putting sneakers on 5-year-old Giovanni who loves baseball. Your shoulders shimmying are putting a backpack on the shoulders of Alana, a 7-year-old girl who just wants to fit in,” Margherio said.

Read more of The Daily’s coverage of Dance Marathon here

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Twitter: @keerti_gopal

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Twitter: @juliaesparza10