As an out of state freshman, I was eager to meet new people and find meaningful involvement on campus. I vividly remember my seeblueU orientation and walking past the countless tables set up by different on-campus organizations. However, one table stuck out to me the most. That table was DanceBlue.

My freshman year, I volunteered in the middle of the night at the hydration station to help make sure every dancer was staying hydrated throughout the marathon. The energy in Memorial Coliseum was full of passion and anticipation for the final countdown. After I finished my volunteering shift, I came back to watch the last few hours because I didn’t want to leave. The stories from the families moved me more than I thought possible. In that moment, I knew I needed to join a team to dance in next year’s marathon.

My motivation to dance continued throughout my sophomore year where I joined my  National Student Speech Language Hearing Association Club’s team. After fundraising and earning spirit points all year, I was so excited to participate in DanceBlue 2019 as a dancer, but I didn’t know if I could actually stand up for 24 hours. DanceBlue made it truly enjoyable. Before the marathon began, we had the chance to get to know our morale leaders and groups. We got to meet new people and make connections early on which made DanceBlue a positive experience.

The marathon started with the dancers learning the 13-minute line dance that would be repeated at the start of every hour. By the 24th hour, the dancers on the floor are all dancing in unison by memory. The line dance was my favorite part of the marathon and I still have it memorized. Each hour of the marathon had a new theme and it is always a surprise to the dancers. I loved seeing what themes and games would come next. This experience was unlike any other. I wish I could repeat it over and over again. Being on the dance floor with other students who share the same passion was so special. The feeling of seeing the final countdown made everything worth it.

After I danced in DanceBlue 2019, I knew I needed to give more of my time to this incredible organization. I was inspired to apply to serve on a Committee for DanceBlue 2020. DanceBlue gave me the opportunity to get to know students who served on various committees that all contributed to the marathon’s success. Dancing in the marathon was eye-opening and life-changing. The fight to end pediatric cancer holds a special place in my heart and I want to help in any way I can.

I am excited to say that this year I will be serving on the Operations Committee. I will have the opportunity to learn more about DanceBlue behind-the-scenes while also helping the 5K and Marathon run smoothly.

After being at the University of Kentucky for 2 years, I can see how much DanceBlue unites students across campus. This organization is a community for all and I am so grateful to be a part of it. I encourage everyone to get involved in DanceBlue 2020!