“Have you heard of Dance Marathon?” You may have heard this familiar phrase on Bruinwalk, walking to your class while several neon-clad and enthusiastic members of the Pediatric Aids Coalition smile at you. Dance Marathon is an event like no other, where participants take part in 26 hours of dancing, education, and bonding, while fighting to end pediatric AIDS/HIV. This week, it is extremely important to us that we share what we believe to be the 13 best reasons to register for Dance Marathon. If you haven’t thought about registering, here are some fun things to consider in anticipation of this incredible event, and if you have thought about registering, but haven’t, round up some friends, practice a couple of dance moves in the mirror, and imagine about how amazing it would be to work towards an AIDS-free generation by participating in this year’s Dance Marathon.

1.We do it #forthekids!
Each color team has an ambassador from Camp Laurel that you can hang out and dance with! On top of being some of the raddest kids around, learning about their life stories is instrumental in understanding how HIV affects our communities and is by far the most memorable part of Dance Marathon.

Last year’s Team Silver ambassador at Dance Marathon with Silver Team Captain Guntas.

There are simply no words to explain the infectious energy in the world-famous Pauley Pavilion during DM. The throwback tunes, fellow dancers, and amped up moralers make the 26 hours feel like a nonstop party!

Morale committee member Irvin during the 12 am — 3 pm shift at last year’s Dance Maraton.

3. Did someone say costumes?! 
Every three hours, there is a theme shift so you can get ~creative~ with your ‘fits! Some favorite themes? Harry Potter Underwater and North Campus vs. South Campus.

Dancers during last year’s “8-claps and bald caps” costume shift.

4. Tradition!
DM is one of UCLA’s official ‘True Bruin traditions.’ What better way to show UCLA’s spirit and values than being in Pauley Pavilion with hundreds of fellow Bruins? DM highlights the best of the Bruin family: service, resilience, and fun!

Dancers learning the morale dance, a choreographed dance which changes each year and is performed by dancers each hour.

5. Educate yourself about HIV/AIDS!
After DM you will be empowered to fight stigma in your own communities and raise awareness about how to stop the spread of this disease.

One of Vigil’s activities, which helps educate dancers about HIV/AIDS and the stigma which surrounds it.

6. A night to remember! 
When else will you have the chance to stay up for 26 hours with the people you love having a blast while you dance the night away? Trick question: you won’t! DM is a once a year opportunity that you MUST go for!!! You’ll regret it if you don’t (MAJOR FOMO…)!

Dancers dancing last year’s morale dance.

7. Build community!
Sign up for DM with a group of friends from your floor or organization — or register solo and be placed on a color team with a supportive group of fellow dancers that will soon turn into family. Who knows — you just might meet your new best friends!

Team Red during one of the Color War challenges, one of many bonding activities throughout the event.

8. Performers!
Our entertainment lineup brings you the best of UCLA’s dance and a capella scenes, as well as artists and bands that are guaranteed new additions to (or already on) your Spotify playlists. It’s like Coachella for a cause, only without the desert weather and expensive tickets.

Lead singer of the Unlikely Candidates, Kyle Morris, performing at last year’s Dance Marathon as one of the headliners.

9. It’s a fun opportunity to give back! 
In addition to having a blast with all your friends, you will have raised $10 per hour as a dancer, and each dollar goes to research, treatment, and education to help end HIV/AIDS!

PAC members with the 2018 Dnce Marathon fundraising total.

10. Vigil!
After the hype and excitement of the 12am-3am shift, you get to take part in our Vigil Hour, an incredibly impactful and inspirational part of Dance Marathon where dancers are able to connect more deeply with our cause. Speakers who are infected or affected with HIV/AIDS delve into their own experiences and explain how your participation in Dance Marathon makes a tangible difference in helping to end not only the AIDS epidemic, but the stigma which surrounds it as well.

One of the speakers at last year’s Vigil, the 3 am — 6 am shift where dancers learn more about HIV/AIDS through advocates and individuals with personal connections to the cause.

11. The price!
Register by the end of this week (or before the first 1500 registrants) for only $15, before the price increases to $30. The registration fee goes towards a t-shirt, five meals, and a goodie box full of supplies that’ll help you stay on your feet for 26-hours.

Dancers welcoming in moralers for their morale shift. The price to register to be a dancer during this year’s Dance Marathon goes up on Friday night.

12. Bragging Rights and All Nighter Completion Practice!
By completing Dance Marathon, you will be able to tell everyone you know that you not only stayed awake for 26 hours straight, but that you danced, made friends, and learned a lot, all while being part of a community of people that share the common goal of preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS and improving the lives of those currently living with the disease.

Dancers during last year’s Dance Marathon.

13. A developed interest in continuing to help the cause! 
After you’ve danced for 26 hours, made tons of friends, and learned more about HIV and AIDS than possibly any other time of your life. It is PAC’s GOAL that you will leave Pauley feeling more connected to the cause and to those impacted with the disease. Hopefully, you will want to continue your education about HIV and AIDS, and to keep fighting for an AIDS-free generation!

PAC seniors after finishing their last Dance Marathon.

Register for Dance Marathon NOW (before the price goes up) at: https://www.up4thefight.org/ucla2019/Account/Register