I was introduced to DanceBlue my freshman year in high school. Initially, it was a concept that seemed strange to me, as I didn’t understand what a no-sitting, six-hour dance fundraiser for children with cancer really was or the significance of it. It didn’t strike me as something that I would enjoy, because I wasn’t good at dancing, so I decided not to participate in it. However, little did I know that the next year this organization called DanceBlue (which actually requires minimal dancing or hardly any skill) would capture my heart and be the single thing I am extraordinarily passionate about.
After I participated in my first DanceBlue Mini Marathon, I knew that it was something I couldn’t just do. A personal connection gave me a reason to dance and a much greater purpose to make a difference. I quickly joined our high school committee, eager to get started on the next year’s marathon. Over the next two years, I met an incredible UK student leader who was imperative in fostering my passion for DanceBlue. She exuberated and embodied the very essence of servant heartedness and humility. Her passion and love for this organization were so contagious and she inspired all. The main thing I took away from her was her love for the kids and to always lead with the mantra that there is always more. More that we can do for the kids and for their families, and there will be until the battle is won.
Deciding to attend UK was an easy decision for me. I knew I could not give up DanceBlue and I needed another 4 years with it. My first year of college, I created a team with my roommate where I served as the team captain. Experiencing the ins and outs of being a team captain, working with other team captains, and learning more about DanceBlue was such a special opportunity. Whether it was attending a restaurant night, designing a t-shirt to sell, or cheering at an athletic event sporting a yellow ribbon, I was all in. Even cooler, though, was standing for 24 hours on the floor of Memorial Coliseum. The energy, passion, excitement, eagerness, and hope were indescribable. People from every organization on campus came to participate in and watch the magic that unfolded that day. I had attended the marathon in high school and stood in the stands watching in amazement, but it didn’t compare to the awe I felt standing on the floor with our kids and their families. I didn’t know the meaning of DanceBlue until the Talent Show, Memorial, and Celebration if Life hours. These last three hours were such a sweet reminder of how precious life and joy really are and how incredible it is to wholeheartedly serve others.
Even though my feet were sore and my body was tired, my mind was racing with ways to get more involved. As soon as the application for committee came out, I submitted it. I don’t even remember proofreading it, I was just too excited to get it in. After serving on Morale Committee for a year, then serving as Mini Marathons Coordinator last year, and now serving as the Public Relations Chair, I can confidently say that DanceBlue has, and always will, have my heart. I have learned that DanceBlue has a perpetually changing and evolving meaning every day from every new experience and interaction. It is fueled by an abundance of heart and passion and continues to grow with each and every person it captures.
DanceBlue is a single organization with a single purpose, but it is something that is impossible to articulate and it has so many definitions to those who have had the opportunity to experience it. To me, DanceBlue is unlike anything I have and ever will experience again. It encapsulates the sacrificial, unconditional, relentless, and never failing love. From the committee members who pour their time and talent into this organization and the volunteers who dedicated their time to serve the dancers, to the nurses and doctors who treat the kids with such care, love ever present. I have had the incredible opportunity to serve alongside of people who are ready and willing to put aside their desires and put forth the needs of others before themselves. It’s an experience in which I hope everyone can participate in some capacity.
This summer, I am excited to be working with a group of people who are so passionate about DanceBlue. The Public Relations committee efforts are to shed light on every facet of DanceBlue. Ranging from our kids, committee members and dancers, to our Mini Marathons, hospital staff, and volunteers, PR will be launching a campaign that will feature people who are touched by DanceBlue across the spectrum. Also, SeeBlueU is just around the corner and DanceBlue cannot wait to welcome freshmen to campus and help them get connected to this cause. Furthermore, DanceBlue will be making appearances at K-Week and Campus Ruckus to help further engage and invite freshman into this family. Whether it be Instagram or Twitter, downloading the app, or reading our blog, be sure to follow DanceBlue this summer because it may just end up changing your world!