Looking ahead to DanceBlue 2022


Students participate in a line dance during the 24 hour DanceBlue marathon at 3:10 a.m. on Sunday, March 1, 2020, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Sophia Shoemaker

DanceBlue 2022 is taking place on March 5 and 6. A student-run organization, DanceBlue raises money for the Golden Matrix Fund, which supports kids at the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

DanceBlue works year-round to fundraise, although the main event is this Saturday and Sunday. A 24-hour, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon brings hundreds of participants to Memorial Coliseum.

The organization began raising money in 2006. Since then, DanceBlue has raised over $18 million for the Golden Matrix Fund.

DanceBlue was created in support of a boy named Jarrett Mynear. He was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at age 2 and with various other forms of cancer six times by the time he was 14. Despite being sick, Jarrett was smart, personable and positive. Before he passed away in 2002, he created a list of requests. One of those was to raise funds to improve the Pediatric Oncology Outpatient Clinic at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

In its first year, DanceBlue raised $123,323.16, making it one of the fastest- growing dance marathons in the United States.

Due to COVID-19, the DanceBlue event was held virtually in 2021 and raised $2,000,190.20 for the Golden Matrix Fund. Despite the virtual setback, DanceBlue still raised $1,011,115.49 in total that year.

This year, the dance marathon will be held in person, hosting 79 teams with a total of 549 dancers. Each individual must be on a team and is required to raise a minimum of $389 in order to participate.

Because of the pandemic, spectators will only be allowed from 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, March 6. All attendees will be required to wear masks.

“The heart of our mission is to establish a community of care for families facing one of the hardest times in their lives,” said Millie Malek, the DanceBlue 2022 Family Relations Chair, in an interview with UKnow. “A critical factor in creating and maintaining this community is doing our best to ensure the safety of the kids, families, and staff that we aim to support.”

Being a dancer isn’t the only way to get involved with DanceBlue. There are 198 volunteers signed up for the marathon on March 5 and 6.

“While we are excited to fundraise and have community support, our focus is not on the number we raise,” Jennifer Derk, DanceBlue 2022 marketing chair, said.

In order to participate, students can become a dancer, volunteer or donate to DanceBlue. For more information, visit danceblue.org.