Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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NUDM unveils revamped, 15-hour Dance Marathon to be held in Welsh-Ryan Arena

Students+in+white+T-shirts+dance+in+a+conga+line+in+a+dark+tent+with+blue+lighting+under+a+suspended+mesh+bag+of+multi-colored+balloons.
Daily file photo by Katie Chen
The event was previously 30 hours and held in a temporary tent on Norris East Lawn.

Northwestern University Dance Marathon’s annual charity event this spring will change in two major ways: the event will last 15 hours instead of 30 and will take place at Welsh-Ryan Arena instead of a tent outside Norris University Center.  

The fundraiser, in its 50th year, will run from 8 p.m. on Friday, March 29, to 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 30. NUDM previously hosted its event the weekend before Winter Quarter Reading Period.

According to Weinberg senior Grace Dyer, executive director of NUDM, the group had to find a new venue due to construction anticipated this winter and spring on the Norris East Lawn. Dyer said the location change provided leadership an opportunity for NUDM to rethink other aspects of the event.

“We wanted to make sure that we were thinking critically about every aspect of Dance Marathon,” Dyer said. “I feel like we have the tendency to just kind of do the same thing every year because if it’s not broken, why fix it? But since we were already making that one big change, we wanted to be very intentional this year about really thinking through each decision.”

She added that NUDM was inspired by the success of A&O Productions’ Blowout, a student-produced concert that takes place in Welsh-Ryan each fall.

Dyer also said changes in NUDM were inspired by student feedback: This year’s team structure will feature a stronger emphasis on student organizations and friend groups, she said. Many students shared that they would be more likely to attend if their friends were there.

Dyer also said students told NUDM that the event being 30 hours long and brushing up against finals season has deterred them from participating.

“We found that many people have some sort of exam or paper due that Monday, making that pre-Reading Week weekend pretty bad for a lot of people when it comes to preparing for finals,” she said. “We’re hoping people shouldn’t have quite as much schoolwork on their plates as a typical Dance Marathon weekend, and hopefully that will make the event more accessible to more Northwestern students.”

NUDM named Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana, which provides housing and support for families with sick children, as its 2024 primary beneficiary in June. The Evanston Community Foundation will once again be NUDM’s secondary beneficiary, receiving the 10% of financial donations that do not go to RMHC-CNI.

NUDM is also launching a five kilometer run on the Lakefill on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. The run will be followed by a bonfire.

Weinberg senior Kelsey Norton, NUDM’s operations director, said the 5k is a revitalization of an old NUDM tradition that has not been hosted in over a decade.

“We’re really excited about it to help get students excited starting really early in the quarter, as a great way for freshmen to get exposure to the organization and also for all four years,” Norton said. “Essentially to start the fundraising and start the process just much earlier on.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jacob_wendler

Related Stories: 

Northwestern commits to funding Dillo Day and Blowout

NUDM names Ronald McDonald House as 2024 primary beneficiary

Northwestern University Dance Marathon hosts 30 hours of festivities, raises more than $400,000 for charity

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