Enthusiasm Keeps DanceBlue Going Strong

Feb 21, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A yearlong fundraiser involving thousands of University of Kentucky students will culminate in the 24-hour dance marathon Friday.

The empty DanceBlue stage won't stay that way for long
The empty DanceBlue stage won't stay that way for long
Credit Josh James / WUKY

Will Blackford is surrounded by tables and boxes piled shoulder high in the concourse of UK’s Memorial Coliseum. The current challenge: arranging an eating area for hundreds of dancers who are not allowed to sit for an entire day.

"We have to put the tables on risers, so they don't have to lean over to eat and be uncomfortable," he says.

Blackford is the operations chair, meaning he handles all the behind the scenes logistics for DanceBlue. The event is made up of 120 campus organizations and 700 dancers, all raising funds for the Dance Blue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Clinic, a cause that’s close to Blackford’s heart.

"I had a baby sister that died of cancer, so I grew up doing philanthropy events and raising money and it's always something that's been a personal aspect [for] me," Blackford says.

DanceBlue raised over $800,000 for the cause in 2012 for a total of more than $3.5M since its inception in 2005.

This year’s event starts this Friday at 8 PM.