El Flujo
By Djinn Shockey

March Madness Ended with the 7th Annual Dance Marathon for Kosair at U of L

This year marked the seven year itch for March Madness in Louisville, but not in regards to the Cardinals. You might be shocked to learn there is more to March than basketball at the University of Louisville. Well, maybe not … but the true shock is the lack of attention some noteworthy events receive. The University of Louisville's 7th Annual Dance Marathon on March 23 was such an event.

For those unfamiliar with this less publicized and somewhat more artistic marathon, the first March Madness dance marathon was initiated by a group of students wanting to make a difference and support the local Kosair Children's Hospital. They accomplished this by orchestrating an old fashioned dance marathon in 2006. The participating couples wore numbers and danced for hours, with the last on the floor winning, a.k.a. raising the most. The donation is made via the Children's Hospital Foundation.

The University Of Louisville Dance Marathon 2013 was sponsored by Chili's and drew more than 300 students to the Universities Student Activities Center, with many being repeat participants. Couples danced as part of a team and were assigned a specific color t-shirt along with their individual 'duet' number. A trio of DJ's spun from a list of desirable dance tunes (student-wise) and the teams moved with the flow of the beat (or the one in their head) for as long as they could.

The team t-shirt is a requirement for the students but otherwise the dress code is casual and up for interpretation. This is an open invite for some college style creativity to emphasize team color and style. Every ULDM brings more vibrantly colorful leggings, tutus, overalls, feathers, fake fur, ribbons, wigs and sneakers out on the dance floor. The open artistic encouragement helps increase the enthusiasm amongst the students, sponsors and spectators as fans of specific teams cheer their support. Realistically, as the evening hours wane into the morning, some grow weary but many of these students dance well past dawn.

It is not necessarily their 'talent' that draws applause for these dancers but more so their creative expression and physical endurance for a good cause. The participation increases yearly at this 'dance for charity' event as previous participants and committee members spread the word amongst enthusiastic new students. The University Of Louisville Dance Marathon has raised and benefited the needy children of Kosair in funds exceeding $300,000 up to date according to Amanda Current, Special Events Manager at the Children's Hospital Foundation.

Now that the Madness of March has left us and we've made it past April's noted day for fools, here are a few upcoming events that will give you a reason to venture out amongst the upcoming showers:

Celtic Woman will bring a taste of the Irish to the Louisville Palace on April 24.

Shen Yun interprets 5000 years of Chinese culture via dance, theatre and music at 501 West Main on April 30 and May 1, starting at 7:30 p.m.