The DanceBlue dance marathon is considered the best day of the year to so many. However, standing and staying awake for 24 hours can seem quite daunting, especially to those who have no idea what to expect. As a result, we want you to know what you can expect for DanceBlue 2020, whether you are dancing on the floor or sitting in the stands.

If you have never heard of DanceBlue, it is a student-run organization that fundraises year-round and culminates in a 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon, which will be held from February 29 at 8 pm to March 1 at 8 pm in Memorial Coliseum. The money raised is donated to the Golden Matrix Fund, which was established to support the kids of the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic both today and well into the future.

The 24 hours of the marathon are busy with so many fun activities. The first two hours of the marathon are spent learning the 12-minute line dance that will then be performed every hour on the hour. The line dance is the only part of the marathon in which every dancer is doing the same thing at once. This allows both the dancers and spectators to see the magnitude of what college students can accomplish for the kids. “The line dance is more than just a dance, it’s a celebration of the kids. If you have never danced in the past or think you can’t dance, don’t worry! The line dance is not complicated, and it is easy to pick up,” said Line Dance Coordinator Morgan Thurza.

After those first two hours, every additional hour has a different theme. After performing the line dance, Programming Committee members will get on stage and explain the theme for the hour and what games, activities, or events will occur that  hour. From there, the Morale Leaders will lead their groups of dancers through each hour to try to win points for the coveted Morale Cup, which is awarded at the end of the marathon. In addition to the activities correlated to the theme, some hours may include meals, bag check, or other important events that enhance the dancer experience. “I am really excited to see all of the games and activities the Programming Committee has put together these past few months come to life. As a Committee, we have worked hard to fine-tune every little detail and plan some awesome hours for the dancers,” said Marathon Coordinator Ellie Van Curen.

Although the marathon is a ton of fun for the dancers, it can also be a blast for spectators as well. Every year, the stands of Memorial are full of people who come to support the dancers. Some spectators even challenge themselves to stay the whole marathon! Throughout the marathon, the spectators can talk to the dancers by coming to the bottom of the stairs, buy merchandise at the DanceBluetique (at specific hours), or just watch the activities going on. This year, there is even more in store for the crowd than ever before. There will be a poster-making station in the stands for spectators to make signs to support their friends, a scavenger hunt and games for the crowd from both 2-3 am and 3-4 pm, and merchandise giveaways occurring throughout the marathon. “Ever since I walked into Memorial Coliseum for my first DanceBlue as a spectator, I knew that those college students were going to make a difference. Not only do you have the opportunity to get involved with the marathon and have the chance to win some fun merchandise, but you are also able to see college students give up their weekend and truly do everything for the kids,” said Crowd Engagement Coordinator Victoria Graves.

The last three hours of the marathon are particularly special. At 5 pm on Sunday, the kids perform a talent show, which is the cutest thing ever. At 6 pm, there is a celebration of life to honor all of the kids from the clinic who have passed and remind the dancers why they are dancing. At 7 pm, there are impactful talks from a few important people and the reveal of how much has been raised during the year. Finally, at 8 pm, the line dance is performed one last time and the marathon concludes. 

“Expect to completely fall in love with DanceBlue by the end of the marathon. Once you spend 24 hours with some of the most compassionate people on this campus and hear the stories from these families, you will better understand the immense power this organization has. You’ll be FTK for life,” said Van Curen.

We strongly encourage you to join us anytime from Saturday, February 29 at 8 pm to Sunday, March 1 at 8 pm in Memorial Coliseum! Come experience something life-changing and show your support for the kids!