DanceBlue reaches capacity for 1st time

By Kelsey Caudill

The committee is organized, the props are nearly finished and more than 700 students are ready to take on UK’s 24-hour dance marathon.

For the first time in history, DanceBlue has reached dancer capacity—and beyond.

Since its debut in 2006, the student philanthropy dedicated to raising money to fight childhood cancer has filled all of its volunteer slots with 739 dancers.

Roughly 570 dancers participated in DanceBlue last year.

Dancer capacity was 700 this year and dancers remain on the waitlist less than three weeks away from the event.

The DanceBlue committee met on Sunday to plan the final stages of DanceBlue 2011.

“A lot of today was preparing for the actual marathon—making props, signage and a lot of organizing for the day of, so when we have 700 people come here to register we have everything ready for them,” said Matt Dempsey, overall chair of DanceBlue.

This week, dancers pay their $30 fee to participate in the marathon at the UK Student Center Ticket Office. Each participant had to raise $300 to be a part of DanceBlue prior to signing up. All proceeds will go directly to the UK Pediatric Oncology Clinic.

DanceBlue 2011 has not only seen an increase in dancers, but also an increase in the number of families participating from the clinic. The Adopt-A-Family program allows dance teams to sponsor children at the clinic and their families.

Dempsey said the increase in dancers could be attributed to the DanceBlue committee helping teams fundraise this year.

DanceBlue is being held two weeks earlier than normal this year because Memorial Coliseum was booked during the first weekend in March.

Public Relations Chair Brittany Peskind said that the DanceBlue committee is more prepared for the event than they were last year despite have less time to finalize everything.

“Compared to past years, we’re all just more organized this year,” Peskind said. “We knew we had to do and we got it accomplished.”

The next DanceBlue promotional event is an ice skating night at the Lexington Ice Center on Feb. 10 from 9-11 p.m. Promotions Chair Priska Ndege invited the campus community to come out to support DanceBlue. Anyone with a valid UK student ID will receive free skate rentals.

Other promotional events are scheduled in the upcoming weeks, including a DanceBlue half-time appearance at the women’s basketball game on Feb. 13 and a Qdoba night on Feb. 16, where the restaurant donates a percentage of that evening’s proceeds to DanceBlue.

Ndege said DanceBlue has had a “great turnout” at promotional events this year from “faculty and staff…people from the community…as well and coaches and student athletes.”

More than 100 teams signed up for DanceBlue this year. One- third of those are Greek, while the rest represent a spectrum of groups from across the university.

Peskind said that this year’s team diversity sets DanceBlue 2011 apart from previous years.

“I feel that it’s a really good mix,” Peskind said. “Everyone on campus is able to do it and that’s why it’s a lot of fun. You get to be with people you normally wouldn’t interact with and you get to meet people outside your typical group of friends.”

For more information about DanceBlue 2011, visit

Those interested can also follow along on twitter using the hashtag @UKDanceBlue or by clicking “Like” on