Dancer Diaries: Berkeley Dance Marathon celebrates World AIDS Week
Earlier this month, students from colleges from across the country united by celebrating World AIDS Day on their campuses. In this blog, Michael Nguyen, one of the executive directors for UC Berkeley Dance Marathon, shares his experiences of UC Berkeley’s World AIDS Week as a continuation of our UP 4 THE FIGHT Dancer Diaries blog series!
After a much-needed Thanksgiving break, it was time for me and the Dance Marathon committee to head back to UC Berkeley to prepare for a World AIDS Week (WAW) that no one could forget. WAW is a long-standing tradition of UC Berkeley Dance Marathon in which we acknowledge World AIDS Day (12/1) but we want to expand its reach by planning a week’s worth of activities to not only raise awareness about the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS, but also open registration to our annual Dance Marathon in the spring!
Our giant, historic Sather Gate was covered in red ribbons to start off the week with a bang! World AIDS Week was a constant stream of fun and informative events all throughout the Berkeley campus. We had “Leave Your Mark Monday” where students signed a message and told us what inspired them to dance. “Trivia Tuesday” featured trivia questions about pediatric HIV/AIDS. Students won Dance Marathon prizes on “Wheel Wednesday.” They also attempted to perfect their hand-eye coordination by participating in “Throw-It Thursday.” And to push registration, we gave away cupcakes on “Free Cupcake Friday” for those that registered to dance and take a physical 12 hour stand against pediatric HIV/AIDS! Furthermore, we had a Dance Workshop and a movie screening of Blood Brother to explain to participants what Dance Marathon is like as well as show them a personal example of the cause at large they will be fighting for!
Overall it was an amazing week! With already 200 dancers ready and over 50 teams formed, we have gotten a lot of positive vibes from our campus community about this year’s event, taking place March 15-16, 2014! I was so happy to see the hard work pay off in terms of outreaching online—Dance Marathon literally took up my newsfeed and my browser history! And despite completely changing our event in terms of location, date, and time, we made tremendous leaps forward this year. I look forward for progress in the spring and ultimately for UC Berkeley DM 2014; I truly think that it will be the best one yet!