Not Dancing With the Stars… Dancing for a Cause!

The DC Dance Marathon is a party with a purpose. The 13.1 hour dance event raises money for Metro Area Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. While the event has been workin’ it on college campuses for years, it’s only in its second year in DC, but after raising $37K in 2011, it is back with boogie fever! Taking place on Saturday, November 17th at the FHI 360 Conference Center, the DC Dance Marathon is open to anyone with a passion for dance, no skill required! The event will feature a variety of dance styles, performances, games and activities, as well as stories from the lives impacted by this charitable dance marathon.

I had a chance to speak with Brandon Weathers, head of public relations for the DC Dance Marathon. Brandon chasséd into this role last year and said that while he doesn’t have a professional dance background per se, “If I have to go out there for a good cause and look like I’m having a dry heave, bring it on!”

How do you complete a marathon with dance?

It all comes down to a combination of dance, entertainment and games. We have an opening ceremony and start off letting everyone gather and socialize. Certain hours of the event are dedicated to dance styles. In rave hour, everyone [wears] glow sticks, then we turn the lights off and everybody acts like rave kids. The most important thing is that everyone is dancing however they want, whenever they want, to any kind of music that they want.

Do patients from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals participate?

We bring in patients and patient families, and they come and tell their story. If this is your first time experiencing the dance marathon, you don’t really know what that means until a kid comes up and tells you that Children’s Hospital saved their life from cancer. It adds a sense of personalization to what we’re doing. I’m partying with a purpose here and it really does make a difference in someone’s life.

What do you tell someone who says, “I don’t dance.”?

I tell them that it doesn’t matter if you can’t dance; you’re there for a good cause. We have a variety of things that you can do. If you don’t want to dance but still want to give back, find a team to sponsor, join a committee or pass our information along.

We always tell people, if you have a bad knee, do what you feel most comfortable doing. You’re not here to audition for “Dancing with the Stars.” You’re here to have a good time and help out with the community. It’s something you can be a part of no matter what.

Why is DCDM important to you personally?

When I first started, I didn’t really realize the people I was going to be impacting. It turns out my nephew’s cousin was in their hospital. I didn’t know that what I was doing had a direct impact on somebody I knew.

The Deets

 

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About Lauren Green
Lauren is a dancer, instructor, choreographer, writer and wine enthusiast in the DC Metro Area. She specialized in social media marketing and has a passion for all things dance. Follow her on Twitter: @laurlens.

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