DanceBlue gets running start with annual 5K


Students of UK lineup during Dance Blue 2016 for a picture on Saturday, February 27, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Bailey Vandiver

Whether it’s 24 hours of dancing or running 3.1 miles, DanceBlue does everything For The Kids.

While some people may think of DanceBlue as a once-a-year event, that is not the case, according to Operations Committee Chair Tyler Ward.

“DanceBlue is 365 days a year,” Ward said.

Ward, who is a pre-law junior studying economics and history, said that preparations for the next year begin right after the dance marathon ends.

In the fall, DanceBlue committee members are busy with events like DanceBlue U, the DanceBlue silent auction, and mini marathons at elementary, middle and high schools around the state.

The DanceBlue 5K is quickly approaching. It begins at noon at Kroger Field on Oct. 1.

It is DanceBlue’s biggest event leading up to the dance marathon, according to its website.

The DanceBlue Operations Committee is in charge of the logistical planning for the 5K, as well as for the dance marathon.

The first DanceBlue 5K was in 2011, Ward said.

This year, the 5K will kick off UK’s Homecoming Week.

“My hope is that we will increase our number of participants from the 760 that we had last year to 1,000+ this year,” Ward said.

Ward said the entire DanceBlue committee will be working the event, stationed throughout the course.

“I will be directing the committee members to different stations and making sure that the event is running—no pun intended—smoothly,” Ward said.

Kinesiology sophomore Lilly Bradley volunteered for DanceBlue last year because of the impact that DanceBlue has on those involved.

This year, she will run in the 5K.

“I’m passionate about DanceBlue because of the joy it brings to those who are part of it,” Bradley said. “Sometimes it may seem like our world is so corrupt, but with this event, I felt a sense of love on a new level that I didn’t even know existed.”

Bradley asked her sisters in Alpha Gamma Delta if they wanted to train together to run in the 5K. She said they meet once a week to run a couple of miles, which helps them grow as sisters while helping DanceBlue.

“Running is not the most fun thing to do, but when you’re doing it with other people, it makes it so much easier,” Bradley said.

People who don’t want to run can still be involved with the 5K, Ward said. Anyone can show up to the race and support the runners, or spread the word and encourage more people to register.

“To me, DanceBlue is an opportunity to make a huge difference through a series of small actions made by hundreds of selfless individuals,” said Ward, who has been involved with DanceBlue since his junior year at Apollo High School.

Registration for the race ends Sept. 27 and can be done online at Donations are also accepted on this site.