If you’re anything like the rest of us, you have probably been wondering – how will DanceBlue look this year? Well, that’s a multifaceted question. So, we took to Instagram to hear from our followers about what they would like to know about DanceBlue 2021. Our incredible chairs put their heads together to give you the best and most recent answers. While we’ve learned easily this year that everything is subject to change, this is what we can tell you now.
- Will team captain meetings be held in person or via Zoom this semester?
Team Captain Meetings will be held via Zoom! They will be biweekly, on Tuesday evenings.
- How would an in-person marathon work?
An in-person marathon would look like the world around us today. Masks and physical distancing would be required. With COVID protocols and procedures changing frequently, DanceBlue is closely monitoring CDC guidelines to ensure that we will produce and execute a marathon in the safest manner possible. Right now, we are considering all possibilities for an in-person, virtual or hybrid marathon.
- Is there going to be a 5k? A silent auction?
Yes, there will be a silent auction. It will be online and will be open for two weeks in late October and early November. Keep an eye out on social media for the dates. And yes, there will be a 5K! This year, keeping the health and safety of our DanceBlue family and community in mind, the race will be virtual. But, be on the lookout in the weeks to come for updates about how you can still interact with us on the day of the race!
- How is DB volunteering in the Clinic?
DanceBlue is still working to interact with the families in any capacity that is possible. Unfortunately, we are not currently allowed in the clinic or Kentucky Children’s Hospital. We are an organization that is FTK so right now we have to be FTK by loving on them from a distance. We are starting a lot of new programming to interact with the kids and families virtually and will hopefully bring some joy to the kids through these new initiatives!!
We are providing a new programming theme every two weeks in the clinic, and with those themes, the kids will get to do crafts and watch youtube videos of family relations doing the craft alongside them. We also have children’s books that go with the themes that we are reading, and we are creating educational videos that go along with them, such as science experiments. Our themes include inventors like you, under the sea, space, magic, time travel, camping, weather, and circus. We are also having virtual bingo every week with kiddos that are in the hospital or in the clinic.
In addition to our new themed programming, we are having a DanceBoo party, winter party, and teen events that will be happening virtually. We have also created a pen pal program in which an FR member or DB chair will be paired with a kid currently receiving treatment in the DB Clinic.
- Is there going to be a marathon?
YES. YES. YES. COVID protocols and procedures change frequently, and DanceBlue is monitoring them closely. While the marathon will look different this year, we will be having one in some capacity, whether that is in-person, virtual or a combination of both.
- Will teams still be able to Adopt-A-Family?
Yes!! The AAF interest meeting is Sept. 22nd at 7 via zoom!! We have a no-contact policy with the families this semester, which means no physical contact or meeting in person. This is in place because we have to ensure the safety of both the kids and the captains. But, we are getting creative!! There will be new and fun ways to interact with families through facetime, letters, packages, and virtual events. We are still in the planning stages for the virtual events we will be having this year, but the families need AAF. Cancer doesn’t stop for anything, and this is one of the best ways to support a family during this crazy time!
- Will DanceBlue be virtual?
Given the current restrictions in our state and on our campus, there is a moderate chance that we would need to facilitate an entirely virtual marathon. We have been working hard as a team to determine what that could look like for the past couple of months. We are hopeful that we will be able to have an in-person component to the marathon this year, and are exhausting all options for what that could look like. At DanceBlue, we never want anyone to feel left out, and for that reason there will be multiple aspects of the marathon that will be virtual, regardless of our in-person status/activities. We know that there are people in our community who would not feel comfortable participating in an in-person marathon, and we want to be mindful of that. We want to be sure that we give everyone who would like to participate in this year’s marathon the opportunity to do so!
- What are the requirements to be a dancer this year?
As of right now, we are still unsure as to what the spring semester will look like and with that, the marathon. With that being said, we will have a more solid answer to this question as we figure out those details in the coming months. Even though we are unsure what dancer spots will look like, all the money you fundraise will still be FTK!
- Will there be less dancers?
As of now, team registration is open for those who have an interest in dancing this year. Once registration closes on October 2nd , we will have more information regarding dancerrequirements. No matter what happens with the marathon this year our top priority is keeping our dancers safe! So, we will work with any physical distancing requirements that the University has!
- Will the fundraising amount be raised?
We decided to keep the individual dancer fundraising amount at $389 – the same as last year – so that we can encourage as many people as possible to get involved FTK!
- Are mini marathons happening this year? How should schools plan for that?
Mini marathons are still happening this year! If a school wants to have a mini marathon, or even just fundraise for DanceBlue this year, we are helping them as best we can!
We are currently working with some mini marathons from last year to offer several different plans including a list of fundraising ideas, ideas for a virtual event, and even ways to reduce risk and plan for a potential marathon in the spring. We are also filming several line dance videos for minis to use in case UK DB committee members cannot be present.
If schools have any questions or concerns about mini marathons, they should contact their assigned minis coordinator or myself (Lucy Hargis), and if they are interested in starting a marathon, reach out to me as well. Our mini marathons are so important to us and we are doing everything we can to work with them and create a fun and safe plan! For questions or additional information, email[email protected].
- How are children undergoing treatment going to be able to participate?
We have just begun planning how we can integrate our kiddos and families into the marathon this year! So much of this will depend on how COVID progresses and the final decisions on how we will host the marathon. We are hoping that if things improve tremendously that we can still have kiddos at the marathon, while following safe guidelines. However, we are also planning how we can have them at the marathon virtually!! This may look like them being paired with an FR (Family Relations) member or AAF (Adopt-A-Family) captain and getting to zoom with them to be “at” the marathon, or they might receive a DB marathon package with a t-shirt, crafts, and games that go along with the family hour theme. There are still a lot of uncertainties, so this is still hard to answer at this point. Rest assured that we will make sure the kids get to participate in the marathon in some capacity, and that they feel our love and support!!
- How will canning & blitz week events work?
Canning–This year, canning is going to look a little different! We want our dancers and community members to be as safe as possible without reducing opportunities for our dancers to participate in fundraising. With that being said, we are going to switch the way we can. Rather than sending teams out into the community with cans to ask for money directly, we are going to have teams leave fliers at the door with directions on how to donate virtually through our platform, Network for Good. The fliers will contain information about DanceBlue as a whole, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to donate to your specific team. This will reduce contact, and will ensure that teams are not required to handle any money or any direct exchanges. Team members will be required to wear correct PPE, including masks, and maintain physical distance while they are out in the community. The fliers are currently in the works, but as soon as they are available, the Internal Fundraising Coordinator, Sydney, will begin setting up times for teams to pick up those fliers, to ensure we are following physical distancing and DanceBlue office guidelines. We will keep you all informed and up-to-date on those fliers, but be sure to look out for sign-ups following the team registration deadline!
Blitz Week– We will be offering Blitz Week both virtually via social media and in-person via tabling! There will only be one tabling location this year with one person at the table at a time. As a result, we will be increasing the activities on social media! Stay tuned on our social media to stay up to date on all the fun!
We are so grateful that you all are still so dedicated to the kids, and we thank you for being patient as we navigate this year. At the end of the day, pediatric cancer doesn’t stop so neither will we! If you have any more questions, email [email protected]. Also, check out Overall Chair Allie Holt’s blog for some words of encouragement during this uncertain time: http://www.danceblue.org/2020/08/one-certain-thing-words-from-the-danceblue-2021-overall-chair/.