Skip to main content

And We Danced (for 26 Hours)


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.




Allison Grenda
Distinguished Belle
Second Year Bruin Belle

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What I Didn't Know

  What I didn't know The morning after I got the highly anticipated call that I got into Bruin Belles, I found this bell (figure 1) on my dorm door: a door belle…get it? I can still very clearly remember the few weeks surrounding this moment. I wanted it SO BADLY! When I saw the Belles tri-fold at the enormous activities fair, I knew immediately that I needed to be a part of that community. On paper, it sounded like everything I wanted: a group of likeminded passionate women who did community service together and other social events. I worked tirelessly on my application and was so nervous for my interview that I signed up for the very first slot (Monday at 8am… yikes). I got the long-awaited call late on a Friday night. Yashvi, the public relations director at the time, told me that I had gotten in, and while still on the phone I screamed “I GOT IN!” to my roommate. My heart was beating so fast. However, I think if I had known what was to come, my heart would have beat so fast it

Imposter Syndrome and Finding Myself

The person I was when I stepped on campus 4 years ago is unrecognizable to me now. I came to college knowing that I wanted to be pre-med but having no friends or family following a similar path, I felt so lost in navigating my path on my own. I started college being terrified of failing. I was so naive and so desperate to succeed I was not taking care of myself. My second year was when I reached my lowest point. I was so depressed and lonely, I considered leaving  UCLA. I did not feel smart enough to be there, I didn’t feel likable enough because I didn’t really have friends. Joining Belles in my junior year was a big part of completely transforming my UCLA experience. Belles was the first time I felt completely embraced by a group of people. It was the first space in which I felt like everyone truly wanted the best for each other. The people and the opportunity to help others were exactly what my heart needed at that time in my life. Service is something that is so incredibly importan

Stepping Outside my Comfort Zone

Spring Retreat 2023 was by far one of the highlights of my BBSA experience, for reasons I never expected. Throughout my second year in Belles I served as a Social DB, and for this retreat, was tasked with the job of heading the Activities Committee. A couple months of planning and preparation later, I was wracked with anxiety about being so in charge– what if nobody had fun? What if we planned too much? Too little? What if someone gets hurt, what if I screw up as a host, what if quite literally anything negative happens? It was a very rigid, unforgiving feeling, and I was then left with the personal expectation that I was going to get there and not be able to enjoy myself because of this pressure. I was terrified of letting anyone down, especially so because this was the first weekend retreat Belles has hosted in years. If anything went awry, I felt fully unprepared to handle it, but at least I could say I had considered the worst. I tried to take solace in that semblance of control,