This weekend marked UCLA’s 14th annual Dance Marathon. This event, put on by the Pediatric AIDS Coalition, is a 26-hour-long dance marathon where students take a literal stand against pediatric HIV/AIDS. Let’s take a look back at the original story published by the Daily Bruin on April 12, 2002.
First of all, this story was barely on the front page, and mostly carried on to page three. This is in stark contrast to the current Daily Bruin focus on Dance Marathon and really shows how the event has grown so much bigger over the years. The story opens with, “On your mark, get set, DANCE!” – nothing’s really changed there. The enthusiasm for Dance Marathon that you see on campus today is definitely seen in this first story and the first Dance Marathon.
This first Dance Marathon began with 190 students, and “members of the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils collaborated with the Undergraduate Students Association Council, Student Alumni Association and On Campus Housing Council.” There was not a Pediatric AIDS Coalition way back in 2002. It also began as a way for the Greeks to become more involved.
Dance Marathon co-chair at the time, Emily Whichard, anticipated that this “could be a huge tradition on campus – a unifying thing for a campus that needs that.”
Dance Marathon originally began as a way to unify UCLA as a campus and to get people involved in the community working towards a common goal.
In 2014, Dance Marathon had to be moved to Pauley Pavilion to account for the increase in participating students and the enormity of the event. During the past 13 Dance Marathons, an overall $3,917,480 has been raised for the cause. It truly has become a campus tradition.