It’s the beginning of another school year! For students at UK, that means coming back to Lexington, the start of fall classes, and the return of college football. For hundreds of students, it also means the start of another amazing year of DanceBlue. The first month of school is filled with the buzz of team registration and spreading the word of DanceBlue across campus. Those who have participated in DanceBlue before know just how special this organization is, and I hope many more students get to learn about it this year. My name is Maxine White, and I get to serve as the Dancer Relations Chair for DanceBlue 2020. I am so excited to support these incredible students and the work they put in for the kids this year.

In 2016, I made the long eight-hour drive from central Pennsylvania to start my first year at the University of Kentucky. At home, people are no stranger to dance marathons. Pennsylvania is home to Penn State’s THON, a dance marathon that raises money to fight pediatric cancer. It was here that I got to see what it looked like for a community to work whole-heartedly toward a cause. The spirit of being for the kids radiated throughout my hometown. I never imagined that I would find an equally passionate community at college. After joining DanceBlue Committee my freshman year, I was amazed at the magnitude of work a group of college students could accomplish when they worked together. This will be my fourth year being involved with DanceBlue and every year I learn something new about the way it runs. Most recently, I’ve gotten to work very closely with the students who make DanceBlue possible: our dancers. Not every college student that walks across the stage at graduation can say that they made an impact like a student who has participated in DanceBlue. From dancers on the floor to team captains to volunteers at the marathon, they are all making a difference in the lives of the kids and their families at the clinic. What makes these efforts inexplicably special is that these students may never directly see the impacts of their efforts. But nevertheless, they still serve the kids. I’ve seen firsthand that the work team captains and dancers do is no simple task. In addition to school and extracurricular activities, these students still find the time to plan incredible events and fundraisers that benefit the kids. Moreover, the students support each other in their efforts to serve the kids. A true community and family are formed through this phenomenal organization. There is no other way I would want to spend my collegiate years than serving alongside these incredible students. We will never be as brave as the three-year-old undergoing treatment every week in the clinic or the family watching them endure it, but through our efforts, we can help them continue to be brave until the day they no longer need to be.

Team registration is open until September 27, 2019 at 5:00 pm. You can join a team with a campus organization you are a part of or start a team with you and at least two friends. To register a team, designate a team captain, and have them fill out the form on the DanceBlue BBNvolved page. Once team registration closes, your team captain will attend bi-monthly team captain meetings to receive DanceBlue news and stay on track for the big marathon in the spring semester. If you want to have a better look at what DanceBlue is all about, be sure to check out DanceBlueU on September 8, 2019 from 3-7pm in the Student Center Ballrooms A and B. If you’d also like to know more about the ins and outs of fundraising and being on a team, come to DB101 on September 9, 2019 at 6 pm or 7 pm in the Student Center Senate Chamber. We cannot wait to meet you all!