Block 3: Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Block After Midnight)

Joshua Irvine

As the clock ticked past 1 a.m. and the strains of ABBA filled the tent, dancers took stock of their situation after six hours and offered how they would survive the next 24.

“Vibes are high,” Weinberg first-year Ben Kaiser said, while Communication first-year Eden Strong was “still chugging (along).”

A collection of both classic and modern pop songs filled the gap between songs by Swedish pop superstars ABBA, whose 1981 hit “Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)” served as the inspiration for Block 3.

Many first-time dancers were surprised at how well they had fared after their first six hours.

“It’s a lot of fun, actually,” Communication first-year Connor Maduzia said. “It’s definitely way more fun than I expected.”

Dancing had started to take a toll on Medill first-year Camille Williams, but she was in good spirits.

“I can’t dance that well in the moment, but I still feel good,” Williams said.

In between songs, dancers were treated to a “Mr. Brightside”-themed light show; heard from celebrity Kato Kaelin, an American actor best known as a witness in the O.J. Simpson trial and were taught the third part of the 30-Hour Dance, which dancers will perform at the conclusion of Dance Marathon.

First-years speculated on how they planned to make it through the next day of festivities.

Maduzia said he planned to survive “on a wing and a prayer – and a lot of food” while McCormick first-year Isabel Calderon said she would maintain her pace and stay with friends because “friends give me more energy.”

Multiple students suggested taking it “block by block” or other strategies to avoid being daunted by the hours still to come.

“Don’t think about how long it is, just try and enjoy the moment,” Kaiser said.

Near the end of the second hour of the block, Dance Marathon’s finance committee appeared on stage to announce a total of 503 service hours had been completed by the dancers.

Members of the 120-hour club, seniors who have danced in every dance marathon since they were first years, offered their more seasoned guidance.

“You have to remember why you’re doing this and that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – or four-time-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Weinberg senior Annie Krall. “Where else would you have this many kids dancing together at once?”

Communication senior Andrew Harlan, dressed to theme, wearing blue sequin bell-bottoms, expressed his strategy in terms of adrenaline.

“You have to let yourself feed off the adrenaline of the tent,” Harlan said. “You absolutely will have lows – you have to be prepared for those – but if there’s a chance to build up your adrenaline, the adrenaline of those high will take you a lot higher.”

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