When asked to write a blog post on my love for DanceBlue, my first thoughts were “how am I ever going to be able to explain all of what DanceBlue is and all that it stands for in just a few paragraphs?”. It sounded like an intimidating task. I wanted to make sure I articulated my love for an organization that has my heart in the absolute best way that I could. Once I sat down and really thought about it, explaining my love for this organization became a rather simple task. Every single person that has experienced DanceBlue has their own stories, their own words, and their own reasons why they have fallen in love with this organization. There is not one more important than the other, all equally as beautiful and filled with joy. This is why I don’t believe it would be difficult for each individual to explain their love for DanceBlue. They all have uniquely different stories and each person’s admiration was sparked for incredibly unique reasons. To define the joy that DanceBlue has brought to the state of Kentucky and beyond is to simply add each of these stories together. It’s the impact of all of these stories, including our own, that stay with us forever.
My freshman year at UK was when I had my first taste of DanceBlue. I had a couple of friends that had the opportunity to participate in mini marathons at their respective high schools. When we made it to campus, they jumped right into getting involved in the 2016 marathon. It was their excitement and dedication that inspired me to volunteer that year, even though I genuinely had no idea what I was getting myself into. Working at the hydration station, I was able to be on the floor surrounded by the dancers, making sure each of them had a full water bottle for the four short hours that I was there. The moment I stepped into Memorial Coliseum, there was something different in the atmosphere than I had ever experienced in my life. I have come to find out that it is the mixture of unbridled joy, infinite courage, and steadfast love that this organization never fails to produce. It was in that single moment that I knew I wanted to do more with this organization.
The following two years, I was able to join a team and stand on the floor of Memorial Coliseum. Having the opportunity to be able to participate in all 24 hours was something that I had looked forward to, and finally being on the floor was an experience that is indescribable. People from every organization on campus came to participate in and watch the magic that unfolded over those 24 hours. I had volunteered and sat in the stands, but nothing compared to the awe I felt joining our kids and their families on the floor. If you want to get a true understanding of what DanceBlue does, you need to join the celebration for the final three hours of the marathon. These last three hours perfectly display the hope, joy, heartbreak, resilience, and courage that these kids and their families embody in their daily lives.
Last year, for DanceBlue 2019, I was given the opportunity to hold the position of Merchandise Coordinator. I remember after dancing in the 2018 marathon, I was hungry for any and all ways to get involved for the following year. After volunteering, dancing, serving as a coordinator, and now holding the position of Marketing Chair; I can confidently say that DanceBlue has a tight hold on my heart. I know that this organization always will. DanceBlue is constantly in motion and always evolving through the heart of every single person it captures. Seeing this organization grow tremendously over the past four years has been a joy to watch, and I cannot wait to see what it does in the years to come.
I truly believe that DanceBlue is a direct link to fighting for and eventually finding a cure for pediatric cancer. DanceBlue means a ton of different things to a ton of different people, and I love getting the opportunity to share with you a few of the things DanceBlue means to me. DanceBlue means that I get to stand for twenty-four hours, side-by-side with my fellow wildcats, to show support and love for the families DanceBlue serves. DanceBlue means that I get the honor to have an extremely small impact in an organization that is so much bigger than myself. DanceBlue means that the kids across the state of Kentucky have a positive atmosphere in times that can hold so much fear and negativity. DanceBlue means inspiring others to get involved, through whatever ways they are able, in helping to discover a cure. DanceBlue means providing refuge for every single family that walks through the doors of the clinic. DanceBlue means dancing for, and alongside, the kids that need a hand to hold when they are fighting for themselves. The opportunity to play such a small part in all of those big things is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
This summer, I am so excited to work alongside a group of people who are so enthusiastic about DanceBlue. It is the Marketing Team’s goal to shed a light on every single aspect of DanceBlue. We will be planning and working towards this goal throughout this summer, in hopes to show all that DanceBlue is doing over the course of this next year. In addition, SeeBlueU is just around the corner and DanceBlue cannot wait to welcome all the incoming students to campus and help them get connected to this cause. At the start of the school year, DanceBlue will also be making appearances at K-Week and Campus Ruckus to help further engage and invite freshman into this family. Whether you follow us on Instagram or Twitter, read our blog posts, or like our Facebook Page; Be sure to keep up with DanceBlue and follow along with us this summer and into the school year. Who knows? It could end up changing your world just like it changed mine.