Morale Committee member and adopt-a-family team captain, Caitlin Crowder shares why she loves DanceBlue.
When people ask me what DanceBlue is, I love seeing how they react when I tell them that it is a no-sitting, no-sleeping 24-hour dance marathon. I always get a wide-eyed face with the question, “you stand for 24 hours? College kids do that?” I love telling them that yes, in fact, we do stand for that long, but what I love more is telling them the reason why – we stand, fundraise all year long, and put in countless hours of work leading up to the marathon, for the kids. All that we do is just for that reason. But it is more than that, it is for the siblings and for the parents too. We do all that we can do so that these kids can focus on just being a kid. Our cause is something so much bigger than ourselves.
I remember my first marathon, hitting hour 17 and the pain that I felt in my feet, it was indescribable. I kept wondering why in the world was I doing this; all I really wanted to do was plop down on the floor. It was within that same hour, the kids began to show up to the marathon, and in the wee hours of the morning, I realized why I, and so many other crazy college kids love, support, and cherish DanceBlue.
Their smiles of excitement and genuine happiness is a memory forever embedded in my mind. This was their time to run around and be kids, to get up on stage and perform their hearts out for us in the talent show. DanceBlue is something that they wait for every year. It allows these kids to step away from the hospital setting, the chemo treatments, the constant needle pokes, and just be kids. It allows them to see that in this fight, they are not alone. Over a thousand college kids are standing alongside them, in the hope that one-day cancer will not be a worry or a reality any longer.
“This was their time to run around and be kids, to get up on stage and perform their hearts out for us in the talent show. DanceBlue is something that they wait for every year.”
DanceBlue is such a humbling and eye-opening experience. It shows you that, as a college-age kid, there are more important things in life than what grade you will get on that paper or exam. It gives you a purpose. DanceBlue allows us to whole-heartily serve these amazing families; you can throw yourself into something so much bigger than just you. I’ve witnessed first-hand how DanceBlue can get into the heart of someone and change their life. Not only through myself, but through those who I am able to serve with on DanceBlue Committee this year. Throughout this year I have been able to meet and interact with so many other college kids happily giving up their time in order to serve with and for DanceBlue. A famous quote says, “As we lose ourselves in service of others, we discover our own life and our own happiness.” I think this quote perfectly reflects the way DanceBlue can change a person. Being able to serve these wonderful kids and families, and directly see the impact we make, has been the greatest experience of my life.