The University of Kentucky, and the entire country, is embarking on a completely strange and new experience as another semester of college starts. What were once uncommon occurrences, like wearing a mask in public, have become what we now see as part of everyday life. But among all this new normal there are some things that are working to stay the same. And one of those things, is the message and heart of all things DanceBlue.

My name is Emma Rotkis, and I have the privilege to serve as the Dancer Relations Chair for DanceBlue 2021. I can vividly remember staring at the 900 dancers, moving in sync to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” at the 2017 marathon, and couldn’t help but feel like I was called to be a member of this family back then. As an out-of-state student, I didn’t feel like I had truly found my place on campus and didn’t have the knowledge to get involved with DanceBlue as a freshman, but soon after I found my passion. From then on I never let it stop. I worked to be involved on all sides of DanceBlue, whether it be as a team captain, a committee member, or a coordinator. However, I never felt more connected to DanceBlue than in 2019, when I collapsed and had a seizure during the line dance at the marathon. This moment was life changing for me, but further fueled my passion for the kids. I am very grateful that I was completely okay and had no serious conditions from that incident. But in a moment of great fear, I never felt more connected to the people we stand for, the kids. As a 20-year-old, I was absolutely terrified, and imagining a child being brave in the face of cancer showed me the amount of strength and resilience that we support and stand behind as members of the DanceBlue family.

I encourage every single one of you to show the strength that these children do each day. Just because the world around us seems to have stopped in its tracks doesn’t mean that their fight is over. These kids need us and our support more than ever. Knowing that in this time DanceBlue is still standing behind them will remind them that they are never ever alone in this fight. Just as one of my favorite line dance moments reminds me, all of us are standing in an army to do what we can to fight pediatric cancer, and I hope that you all are able to join us, as volunteers, dancers, team captains, and supporters.

Team Registration is open now, and will remain open until Friday, October 2nd, at 5:00pm. Team Captains will be expected to attend bi-weekly meetings on Zoom with my coordinators and I to make sure they are receiving all of the up to date information on what we have planned and any changes that occur for DanceBlue 2021. We want to make sure our captains know what lies ahead, so if you are interested, we are having a Zoom interest meeting for potential team captains on September 22nd at 6pm! And after, we will also have a meeting for potential Adopt-A-Family Captains at 7:00pm. We want to continue to spread the love and passion that surrounds DanceBlue, despite all the changes that surround us. From all of us at DanceBlue, we can’t wait to have you involved and be a part of our family!