This quarter, I participated in my second Dance Marathon. Although last year I danced the full 26 hours with Belles, this year I was a Moraler, whose job is to come in for three hours and pump up the dancers who are completing the full event. The Bruin Belles Moraling crew chose 3-6am for our shift, and the theme during this time (much to my delight) was Disney! After an hour-long nap at 1am, I woke up and dressed in my best Disney attire (complete with a tutu and flower crown, of course) to join the rest of the Belles at Pauley Pavilion. I also drank a lot of coffee right before this, so as I skipped down to Pauley I was feeling pretty alive, and I seem to remember excitedly screaming in a couple of my fellow Belles’ faces before we ran inside (sorry Abby and Charlotte! I was a little pumped if you couldn’t tell). I know that right now, we probably sound crazy for wanting to wake up and dance from 3-6am, but it was honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had this year in Belles. We were able to be part of a moving ceremony about the realities of HIV/AIDS around the world and hear from some truly inspiring young speakers about their personal experiences with Pediatric AIDS. After this, it was time to get down to some Disney tunes as we celebrated the perseverance of these kids and the endurance of the dancers, who were starting Hour 16 as we arrived! They are all so inspiring, and I will never forget rocking out to “Under the Sea” from the Little Mermaid or “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story at 4am with my favorite group of people, Belles. Our group of Moralers ended up staying an extra hour, until 7am, and then we bid a fond farewell to the students still dancing for another six hours. I am so proud of all of the Belles who participated in Dance Marathon, whether for 26 hours or just a few like me. It is a truly worthy cause, and I am so happy that I was able to be a part of it this year. And let this be a lesson to anyone out there – if you ever need someone to cheer in your face at 3am, just remember that you’ve got a friend in me.
Second Year Bruin Belle