Dance Marathon 2015 is over; 30 hours of dancing, meeting people and enduring the pain in my feet later and you stand accomplished at overcoming everything people said was senseless to do.
I’ve always had an aversion to gimmicky forms of fund-raising. It’s something to note if you could have raised money without the gimmick – or even have raised more money if you removed the cost of the gimmick. But after last night, I’m pretty sure NUDM is not a gimmick. There’s a lot of effort to ensure the participants know what they’re dancing for and more importantly the brand created around NUDM (probably the most important thing in my opinion) has lent itself to more clout in soliciting donations. The Dance Marathon itself was personally a commitment I had said I would fulfill, as well as an opportunity to be part of something truly Northwestern. It’s much more meaningful to the fundraiser than the person. There’s few ways you can raise a lots of money for charity – but every successful fund-raiser has had a high element of celebriti-sation either through the drivers of the fund-raiser or the main draw of the event. At the end of the night, I felt connected with the beneficiaries I had raised money for.
One of best takeaways for me was the whole notion to “Keep Dancing”. As some of you know, one of my two mottos is to “Keep Believing”. It’s probably the only reason why I’ve rarely felt disappointment, and even if I did, I’d be able to quickly recover. Hope is the sword that the few but the courageous have the strength to yield – because hope requires faith in the unknown.
Keep Dancing has the same sense of grit to it. Other than the literal implication of dancing to complete the marathon and successfully raise money for charity, Keep Dancing to me was about enjoying life too . Most dance parties I’ve been to have involved a healthy(okay, it’s never really healthy) level of alcohol to make it easier to get into the mood of the night. But this 30 hour party was as sober as it got, and I was reminded the sensation when I first started eating giants; being completely drunk on life. To dance because there’s a reason to celebrate living and being completely alive ; to dance because you want to express your soul’s murmurings.
I’m not a good dancer, far from it. But I dance shamelessly because it’s a personal moment. Sometimes I share that moment , with friends or more , but it’s still personal. Dance was almost meant to be a form of communication, not solicitation. It’s almost become corrupted to that though, in a lot of places, and that’s unfortunate. But we keep dancing still, because we still long to express the clawings of our heart. We keep dancing because when your feet hurt, the only way to keep the pain away, is to continue moving those feet. We keep dancing, because we know that when all is done , it’s the nights we danced that will stay embedded in our minds.
I’m glad I did Dance Marathon. So much happened in the 30 hours, and I became especially close with some people in the big white tent. I will keep these memories and I will remember the day I danced without reservations because I was glad to be alive.
and we keep believing.