Block 4: Wildest Dreams

Elizabeth Byrne

As Northwestern University Dance Marathon participants drag themselves around the perimeter of Norris University Center during the sunrise tradition sequence, some dancers may wonder how this is a NUDM tradition. But for Weinberg and Medill junior Davis Rich, it’s a much needed break from the tent.

“I do like when you go out and run in the morning,” Davis said. “It’s really cold, but it’s kind of nice to be outside, and when you come back in, they play “Here Comes the Sun,” and there’s balloons and stuff, cause that’s when you’re kind of getting into the hardest part of DM.”

Block 4 of NUDM, themed “Wildest Dreams,” had dancers dreaming of their beds, as many dancers began to lose energy during the second half of the lockdown period. The block closed out with a balloon drop, the run around Norris University Center and slightly more awake dancers. Dancers were also treated to a celebrity video from actor Katee Sackhoff.

Rich, now participating in his third year of NUDM, said he considers himself a “dancing person” and that helps him get through the middle blocks, or some of the hardest hours out of the 30.

NUDM, which began as a 52-hour marathon hosted by Alpha Tau Omega and Associated Student Government in 1975, has picked up a few traditions over the years, including the 30-Hour Dance, choreographed by the Dancer Accessibility and Experience Committee, and Sandstorm during Block 8.

McCormick junior Emily Schram said since joining a 30-hour committee last year, her favorite tradition is forming the tunnel for dancers to run through before and after each block change. As a member of the Dancer Accessibility and Experience Committee, Schram said it’s part of her job to hype dancers up during the block changes with her fellow committee members.

“You just get to bang on the walls and yell and scream and chant and I love doing it,” Schram said. “It’s so fun and that’s when the committee bonds because you’re all there together screaming your heads off.”

Schram added that while NUDM is not quite halfway over, it’s important to keep up the energy to continue dancing. She said that it’s important to keep moving.

“Now, I don’t get to dance as much because I’m on a committee and I have to do more work behind the scenes,” Schram said. “But knowing that I’m doing more to put the whole thing on is equally as rewarding.”

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