Block 2: Evolution of Dance

Catherine Kim, Campus Editor

During Block 2 of Northwestern Dance Marathon, Communities In Schools of Chicago CEO Jane Mentzinger thanked dancers for their support, inspiring many of the dancers who decided to participate because they believed in the organization’s mission.

CIS of Chicago, NUDM’s primary beneficiary, is a dropout prevention organization that works with Chicago Public Schools to encourage students to graduate with a highschool diploma. The nonprofit supports students by providing them with access to educational opportunities and individual counseling.

Mentzinger said she is grateful for the help that NUDM is providing. On stage, she held an interactive trivia quiz with the audience about the dropout rates within Chicago. About 6,000 Chicago public school seniors will not graduate with their class this year, she said, but about 1,000 students will work with communities and schools to be on track to graduate.

The organization brought six schools to NUDM to interact with the University, she added.

“We are so grateful for everything you’re doing,” she said. “You are literally transforming lives with your support. So thank you again. Keep on dancing.”

Weinberg junior Jessica Serody said she was inspired to dance because she appreciates the work accomplished by CIS of Chicago. As a transfer student, she said, she also thought NUDM was an opportunity to interact with new people.

McCormick first-year Matthew Queen said he met with some of the kids involved with CIS of Chicago through NUDM’s BUILD program, which encourages dancers to participate in various service activities. Queen said he had an “awesome” experience making tie-dye shirts with the kids. Not only were the students nice, he said, but incredibly excited to participate in the event as well.

Queen said he supports CIS of Chicago’s mission, which is why he decided to dance.

“I decided to dance because I think it’s important for those kids, who are falling behind in the Chicago public school system, to have an opportunity to continue their education and have a successful life,” he said.

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