Dance Until Dawn

Claire Aziz

Everyone at Colgate is aware of the many dance groups and frequent performances on campus. On Friday, March 30, Colgate’s dance-enthusiasm was showcased in the Cen-ter for Outreach, Volunteerism and Educa-tion (COVE)’s Dance-a-Thon – an energetic combination of dance, music, service and friendly competition.

COVE Fabindia, the Women’s Studies De-partment, The Network, Wellness Institute, Broad Street Records and Protoculture col-laborated to host this 12-hour Dance-a-Thon in the Parker Commons last week. Dance-a- Thon is a contest for Colgate students who signed up in teams to compete in a dance competition, seeing which team could dance straight through for all 12 hours of the event. The winning team got prizes donated by local merchants and the satisfaction of having the truly unique claim to fame of having danced for 12 hours straight.

Parker Commons was transformed by this event. Walking into the dimly-lit space, I was immediately greeted by the smell of warm In-dian food, the sound of student bands, Proto-culture DJs setting up and the excited chatter of the competitors and spectators waiting for their arduous challenge to begin. Colgate’s most coordinated, confident and rhythmical-ly-inclined students came out in teams to sup-port their sponsor groups, but non-dancing types could also enjoy the event (and the In-dian food) for a mere $5 admission fee, which went to a very good cause.

The funds raised by Dance-a-Thon went toward the John Bissell Scholars Fund, which provides scholarships to rural and low-caste women in Bali, Rajasthan. Es-tablished in 2001, this scholarship partners with the Fabindia School in Bali to provide girls with access to high quality education. Thanks to the work of the John Bissell Scholars Fund, Indian girls are given the opportunity of high quality education at a prestigious private school, one that would otherwise (and tends to) be given to male Indian children. The partnership between the Fabindia School and the John Bissell Scholars Fund has also raised English and vernacular literacy rates and improved stu-dents’ chances at social mobility, equality and employment opportunities.

Here at Colgate, dancers and spectators alike came together to enjoy an evening filled with good music, good food and great performances, all for a wonderful cause, showing that all you need to make a difference sometimes is to get up and move.

Contact Claire Aziz at [email protected].