Students get down for good cause

By Emilie Shumway

Ida Noyes Hall hosted 12 straight hours of dancing this weekend as part of the Council on University Programming’s sixth annual Dance Marathon fundraiser.

About 100 dancers raised nearly $120 each for the Children’s Place Association, a Chicago-based organization that provides day care, facilities, and supportive housing to families dealing with HIV/AIDS.

The fundraiser, which began at 2 p.m. on Saturday and ended at 2 a.m. on Sunday, allowed for breaks only if dancers remained standing. While participants were discouraged from wearing watches, they received ongoing encouragement from “moralers,” non-participating supporters who cheered on the dancers.

“It was a lot of fun and for a good cause,” said second-year Ayoung Lee, a member of the board that coordinated the event. “Since it’s a dance marathon, I think it has more appeal for college students and ends up being effective as a fundraiser.”

Several campus organizations took part in the event, with the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority winning Best Participation and Off-Off Campus raising the most money.

Student-run dance groups on campus donated their time to teach participants salsa, swing, and bhangra. University Ballet led group stretching exercises, and campus a capella group Unaccompanied Women entertained marathoners with a performance.

Complimentary gifts included t-shirts, Dance Marathon bags, leis, and glowsticks. At the end of the night, a free bus service offered exhausted dancers a ride home.