DanceBlue changes allow volunteers to dance

By Quianna Lige

The big dance is right around corner, and it’s not March Madness.

As teams prepare for DanceBlue, the organization has made a few changes to get more people involved.

This year, volunteers are asked to raise $50, and in return, they get to dance for an hour.

“Instead of volunteers just coming and doing their four-hour volunteer shifts, now they get to come and do a four-hour volunteer shift where one hour they actually get to spend on the dance floor,” Clay Stanley, the overall chair, said, “basically getting to experience what it is like to be a dancer.”

Operation Chair Will Blackford said the changes made to volunteering were done to get volunteers “more engaged with DanceBlue.”

The yearlong fundraising organization ends with a 24-hour dance marathon on March 2-3. UK students create teams and raise money, which is donated to the Golden Matrix Fund for children with cancer.

“Our goal is always a million (dollars),” Blackford said. “It’d be nice to break the 700 mark.”

For this goal to be reached, the committee has cut back its budget by finding community sponsors.

The fee for each dancer also has increased from $300 to $325, and teams are hot on the fundraising trail to raise the required amount.

“Teams are doing the normal things they do to raise money,” Stanley said.

He said there have been restaurant nights among other fundraisers.

But a large fundraiser, Stanley said, is a letter drive where teams give addresses to DanceBlue, and a letter is sent out asking for donations to support each specific team.

With more than 90 teams registered, Stanley said they are on track to meet their goals.

“This is actually our largest year as far as teams registered,” he said, “so we’re really excited about that.”

Another new event added this year is the mini-marathons at elementary schools.

Blackford said they started the mini-marathons to “reach out to all of Kentucky.”

If interested in volunteering, the deadline to register and pay the $50 fee is Feb. 10.

If participating on a team, the deadline to raise the $325 is Feb. 3.

The total amount raised will not be released until the final hour of the dance marathon.

“Nobody really knows,” Ethan Ritter, the internal fundraising coordinator, said. “It’s a push to an end.”