Dancer Diaries: Dancing for an AIDS-free Future
Sydney Van Horn
On April 5-6, students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) stood UP 4 THE FIGHT with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). Thanks to support from friends and family, participants at this year’s Dance Marathon at UCLA raised more than $445,000 for the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS.
The event was the culmination of another year of hard work and dedication from the Pediatric AIDS Coalition (PAC). For the first time, students danced the hours away at UCLA’s iconic Pauley Pavilion. During the 26-hour event, nearly 1,000 participants danced to today’s top hits, learned a choreographed morale dance, and enjoyed exciting performances by several student-led organizations.
But most of all, dancers learned about the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS through videos, presentations, and activities – all created and planned by the PAC. The moving videos and stories displayed throughout the arena motivated them to keep dancing to help end AIDS in children.
“The kids are everything, I feel like that’s really the heart of the cause and it’s what inspires me to do Dance Marathon,” stated Rebeca Poore, a member of PAC.
In addition to performances, this year’s dance marathon featured inspiring speeches from EGPAF Ambassadors Jamie Gentille and Martha Cameron, along with presentations from EGPAF staff members Sydney Van Horn and Jeff Safrit, Ph.D.
Check out a video recap of the event below!
Sydney Van Horn is EGPAF’s coordinator of strategic partnerships, based in Washington, D.C.