LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky’s 16th annual DanceBlue dance marathon went virtual this year. Last year, over 900 students gathered in person for the event, and this year looks slightly different due to the pandemic.
What You Need To Know
- 2021’s DanceBlue Dance Marathon is the 16th annual event
- DanceBlue benefits the Kentucky Children’s Hematology/Oncology Clinic
- DanceBlue 2021 was completely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Since the first DanceBlue, the marathon has raised more than $17.3 million for pediatric cancer treatment and research
UK hosted its annual DanceBlue marathon, but this year featured a virtual twist. Overall Chair and UK senior Allie Holt said she’s been participating in DanceBlue since she was a sophomore in high school.
“During that time that I was in charge, a girl that went to high school in the county was actually going through treatments in the clinic at the time and I got to know her and hear about her story going through, and thankfully she’s totally cancer-free and she’s now in college and everything which is awesome. But that really was the first hook for me,” Holt said.
For the past year, DanceBlue members fundraised for pediatric cancer treatment and research at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Holt has been on the committee since her freshman year of college and said the DanceBlue community has supported her throughout her last four years, especially during the pandemic.
“DanceBlue has this spirit that attracts the most selfless and kind-hearted people together, all to work hard and do whatever they can in any regard for these kids and their families going through something so terrible,” Holt said.
During the online event, students were able to learn the line dances via Zoom and Facebook live, as well as participate in Zoom breakout rooms with their morale leaders and teams.
“It’s definitely been different. We can’t have as many in-person, bonding and things like that just because of the COVID regulations,” Holt said. “However, the community is still so strong and you can just feel that in the way people are and have, past tense, like raising so much money, work so hard this year despite the circumstances.”
Because of the pandemic, Holt has seen a decrease in dancers this year, but it didn’t stop the organization from raising money. Holt said finishing her senior year, she couldn’t be more proud of her team and how much they were able to raise.
“It is really special to me, like I said I’ve been involved for a very very long time, and yes it’s not exactly what I expected as my senior marathon, but just this whole year, show me how much love, and how much heart everybody has for this organization because we had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get to today,” Holt said.