Carpe DM: Seize the Dance
At the close of a year of inventive fundraisers, Appalachian
State University students will jive through Carpe DM, a 15-hour “Seize the Dance” marathon.
Benefiting local non-profits Parent to Parent and Western Youth Network, Carpe DM is a dance marathon “that is a lot of fun, but it tests stamina and is mentally and physically challenging,” said A.J. Anglim, a senior who chairs the Dance Marathon Committee.
Students commit to raising $150, or $10 for every hour they dance to the overnight tunes of oldies, electronica, hip hop, rock ‘n’ roll and indie.
In order to register for the event, half of the committed amount – $75 – is due by Friday, Feb. 8. The marathon itself will be held Saturday, Feb. 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at Legends on the ASU campus.
Businesses that donate $150 will be featured on the backs of neon T-shirts distributed to dancers. Restaurants that donate food will have their names publicized during the event.
Since it was first held in 2003, Carpe DM has raised more than $185,000 for High Country children. Proposed by the Children’s Miracle Network, the dance marathon has continued “probably because people love that it’s so different,” in the midst of 10K races and bake sales, Anglim said. “We encourage people not to sit down unless taking a break for lunch, so they’re standing or moving the entire time.”
Last year, $25,442.50 in pledges was raised from 300 dancers. The event has grown exponentially every year, and Anglim expects more than 300 dancers this year. If that number attends, and each dancer fulfills his or her $150 goal, the event could raise $45,000.
A “Thrift Shop” theme, in sync with the Macklemore song, will host the first four hours of the marathon. During this time, the children and parents of Parent to Parent and WYN will attend the event, singing karaoke to Disney and Elvis tunes.
“You get to actually hang out with the kids that you’re impacting in the community,” Anglim said.
In the following neon theme, students will wear their Carpe DM T-shirts. During a character theme, they can dress as anyone from Mick Jagger to Scooby Doo. During the final America theme, a video DJ will energize the final stretch of Captain Americas and star-spangled Barbies.
At the day’s start, the crowd will be taught a mash-up line dance to be repeated during each theme. Otherwise, they are free to dance however and with whatever they wish. “You can always tell when people have a favorite song,” Anglim said.
The top 10 fundraisers will be entered into a drawing to receive an 8GB iPod Touch. Other prizes will be announced two weeks prior to the event at http://act.appstate.edu/dancemarathon and on Facebook.
Teams composed of student organizations will compete in funds raised and team spirit for the fourth annual Chancellor’s Cup – a cash prize and dinner with ASU Chancellor Kenneth Peacock. Awards will be given for the best costume, best dancer and most spirited dancer during each theme.
The fundraiser’s string of events begins each August with the new semester. Campus groups hold Trash for Cash, where they cleaned football tailgaters’ trash in exchange for a donation. Dorm residents washed and folded laundry in exchange for donations, and area restaurants like Chili’s and Come Back Shack hosted restaurant nights, in which a portion of the dinner was donated to the cause.
Most people utilized Facebook in order to request a $10 donation from 15 people. Some splurge ideas have made appearances, like a student who always dances in a pink cowboy hat and fur vest, or Jeff Teterson, a committed fundraiser, who will cut his long hair this year if he receives the $1,000 of his requested donations.
Carpe DM is coordinated by the university’s volunteer clearinghouse, ACT – Appalachian and the Community Together.
To register for the event or for more information, visit http://act.appstate.edu/dancemarathon.