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Dance Marathon recruits

UNC Dance Marathon committee members dance tuesday afternoon in the Pit. DTH/Will Cooper
UNC Dance Marathon committee members dance tuesday afternoon in the Pit. DTH/Will Cooper

Correction (March 22, 2010 10:37 p.m.): Due to an editing error, this story misattributed a statement to Kate Gillam, media representative for Dance Marathon. Gillam did not say that organizers did not expect all 1,800 people who signed up last year to participate. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

Wearing Santa hats, leopard-print leggings and neon skirts and socks, recruiters for UNC Dance Marathon haven’t yet lost their enthusiasm for the 24-hour dance event.

But with a participant limit set for the first time, organizers said they won’t be able to recruit the same number of dancers they did last year. 

Dance Marathon is an annual fundraiser where students stand in Fetzer Gym for 24 hours without sitting down. It has raised more than $2 million since it was first held 11 years ago. More than 1,800 students signed up to participate last year, but not all of them actually participated or completed the event.

Kate Gillam, the media representative for Dance Marathon, said the event needed to be limited to 1,600 students because of Fetzer Gym’s capacity restrictions and to ensure that they can feed each dancer.

Although last year’s participant list exceeded the new cap, it wasn’t a problem because organizers didn’t expect all 1,800 to show up, Gillam said.

Gillam said the first 1,600 to sign up and raise the required $150 can participate.

“We don’t want to limit anyone from participating in Dance Marathon that really wants to do it,” she said. “It is important to sign up early if you are truly interested in supporting this great cause.”

Similar to previous years, Dance Marathon will donate proceeds from this year’s event to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

Gillam said she was disappointed about the cap but was encouraged by the growing participation that made it necessary.

“This new challenge is exciting because it shows the growth of Dance Marathon and the increasing student commitment to helping patients and families of North Carolina Children’s Hospital,” she said.

Gillam added that Dance Marathon will not scale back recruitment because of the cap and will try various tactics such as distributing water bottles at intramural games, attending Zumba classes and advertising on the P2P on Thursday.

“It’s one thing being loud and ridiculous in the Pit, but it’s another for students to get that personal touch from a testimony of someone who participated in Dance Marathon before,” she said.

Freshman Amanda Ziesemer, who said she plans on participating in Dance Marathon, said recruiters have saturated campus this week.

“It is one massively effective guilt trip that you can’t avoid,” she said.

Freshman Andrew Yavorski said the event has become a tradition.

“Dance Marathon is something that you can say you have done while you have been at Carolina,” he said.

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