Dancer Diaries: It’s a Wrap with Columbia University Dance Marathon!

Students at Columbia University’s Dance Marathon smile during a 18 hour dance marathon to raise awareness about pediatric HIV/AIDS. This year, CUDM students raised more than $18,000 for EGPAF!

Sydney Van Horn

As the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s (EGPAF) development coordinator, Sydney Van Horn supports college students across the nation as they host the best dance party of their lives! EGPAF’s UP 4 THE FIGHT Dance Marathons raise awareness and money to help continue the fight to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDS. Stay tuned for more of Sydney’s Dancer Diaries!

Students at Columbia University Dance Marathon (CUDM) cheered the sunrise at 7 a.m., having spent the previous 18 hours on the dance floor. With their last “Moves Like Jagger” morale dance, they dropped to the ground to relieve their aching feet. These dancers stood and danced all night to take a physical stand against pediatric HIV/AIDS, raising more than $18,000 for EGPAF in the process!

Could you last for 18 hours? CUDM participants did by staying hydrated and energized with a plethora of meals—from empanadas to late night pizza and cookies to sweet fruits! They also never had a chance to be bored as the music theme changed every hour: One Hit Wonders, Around the World, Michael Jackson, Bar Mitzvah hour, and more!

Dancers, most importantly, learned more about the cause by participating in an EGPAF interactive activity, sharing their connection story, and joining our World AIDS Day Thunderclap! They heard from Janice McCall, an EGPAF ambassador, and they shed tears. Later, dancers approached me with passion in their eyes, and we talked more about Elizabeth Glaser, her story, and how they are making an impact.
As the sun rose on Sunday morning, Columbia University Dance Marathoners threw their hands in the air and cheered— they were proud, as was I.

I’m proud that they accomplished so much in such a short period of time. Columbia University students held two dance marathons in consecutive semesters. They raised tens of thousands of dollars to save lives and they spread awareness about EGPAF and pediatric HIV/AIDS.

Columbia University dance marathoners proved that they are UP 4 THE FIGHT.

Look out for the CUDM committee this spring as they put on interactive events and start the planning process for Dance Marathon 2014!

Unite your campus and community and join our students as they stand UP 4 THE FIGHT against pediatric HIV/AIDS.

Sydney Van Horn is a development coordinator at EGPAF, based in Washington, D.C.