Thursday, 30 March 2017

Dancing with a Dinosaur For The Kids

#ForTheKids Dance Marathon
Dance marathons are a concept that rose throughout the 20th century, especially in the United-States. Later on, charity dance marathons became popular during the 1970's at a handful of American universities. Today, the biggest type of charity dance marathon is the one supporting the Children’s Miracle Network: there are over 300 dance marathon programs across North America and over $150 million raised since 1991.

The movement is still young in Canada but we have seen various marathons popping up in recent years, from Champlain College in Quebec to Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. The U of A’s dance marathon brought together students from both the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan University in the spirit of raising funds and awareness for our local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The night consisted of a series of performances, dance tutorials, dance parties, speakers and food at a small cost to each participant. In exchange, each person was encouraged to raise as much money as possible, for the kids. The twist? Everyone had to stand the entire time, a small but symbolic effort to show solidarity with the young patients who have to fight long and difficult battles. This was my second time attending this event, and I can honestly say that it only gots better this time; it is a night of bonding, emotions and lots of dancing!

Here’s a look at the night as it unfolded:

4:00 p.m. Welcoming message from the Children’s Miracle Network and the organizers

4:30 p.m. Zumba class with Rita

4:50pm: MOD Contemporary Dance

5:00 p.m. U of A Dance Team performance and dance tutorial

5:45 p.m. Stories of former Stollery patients

6:00 p.m. Dinner! 

6:15 p.m. Orchesis Dance Group performance and dance tutorial

7:00 p.m. Convergence Dance Group performances 

7:30 p.m. Knight-Horse-Rider (a game)

8:00 p.m. U of A Dance Team performance and cha-cha tutorial 

9:00 p.m. Indigenous musical performance and round dance 

9:30 p.m. DJ and dance

(was too busy dancing to take a picture, sorry)

10:00 p.m. Closing Ceremony

If kids’ health is something you care about and you like dancing, I hope you’ll check out UADM on Facebook and maybe even consider planning a marathon in the future! 

Catherine - YouAlberta Contributor

Catherine is a 2016 BSc graduate (in Bio and English) who will be tackling a BEd in Secondary Education this September. She currently works at the Centre for Teaching and Learning and her passions include children’s health and flat-faced pets. When she isn’t eating or chuckling to herself, Catherine enjoys playing piano, exploring the river valley and spiralling into existential reflections while stargazing.

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