Final DanceBlue preparations begin

By Morgan Eads

Sophomore business management major Alex Redmond (center) performs the final line-dance with friends during Dance Blue 2011, a 24-hour dance marathon to raise money and awareness for child cancer. Photo by Scott Hannigan | Staff

Now is the time members begin finishing up the preparations for the event that will involve students dancing for 24 hours in Memorial Coliseum to benefit children with life-threatening illnesses.

“We are finalizing the preparations for the dance marathon,” said Logan Sparks, ISC senior and public relations chair of DanceBlue. “We are working on programming; each hour has a different theme and music.”

DanceBlue has had a lot of success in the past, but Sparks hopes they improve this year.

“We always try to get bigger and better every year,” Sparks said.

Some involved find the process and the event to be a rewarding experience.

“I love seeing all of these college students beating the stereotype of not caring,” said Liz Pawley, communications senior and team relations chair of DanceBlue.

She also gave a nod to those who have worked to make this program a reality.

“The kids and the families are what it’s all about,” Pawley said. “But it would be nothing without UK students working selflessly to help others.”

At the end of last semester, DanceBlue announced another accomplishment.

“DanceBlue has recently made a $1 million pledge to the clinic we serve. In recognition of this pledge the clinic will now be known as the DanceBlue KCH Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic,” said Ethan Ritter, overall chair of DanceBlue. “This pledge will help furnish the clinic with equipment and space needed to provide the best possible care to our families.”

This is not the only thing DanceBlue will be working towards.

“In addition to this pledge to be paid over the next four years we will continue to support cancer research in the Markey Cancer Center and provide social support through child-life professionals,” Ritter said. “Dr. Lars Wagner, the new Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, has begun establishing a clinical trial network with other large research hospitals including Cincinnati Children’s.”

Ritter expressed pride in what DanceBlue has done since its creation.

“Cancer knows no boundaries. It can impact anyone, no matter their race, income or beliefs,” Ritter said.

“I hope that everyone that is able will make the final push to raise their $360 to have a spot on the floor and help us continue our tradition.”