By Aiden Western

Winter Quarter: A time for long, cold walks to Public Affairs, rain showers for weeks on end, and that 5pm discussion section that meets after it’s already dark outside. It seems like the world is ending, or at least the bliss of Fall Quarter has come to a halt. But what if I told you something bright is on the horizon — an event that would change your life, and others’, forever. Would you sign-up? 

Dance Marathon 2023, the largest collegiate philanthropic tradition on the West Coast, is happening this April! And you do not have to wait until the misery of Winter Quarter is over to register. You can sign up today! Below, you will find the answers to all the burning questions you have before doing so. 

  1. Well, what even is Dance Marathon?

Dance Marathon (DM) is an annual event hosted by the Pediatric AIDS Coalition (PAC). It is a dance-a-thon where UCLA students, faculty, community members, and others take a literal stand against Pediatric HIV, AIDS, and the stigma surrounding it. Our 22nd Dance Marathon is happening on April 8th and 9th at Pauley Pavilion. 

  1. April 8th AND 9th?! How long is this thing?

Dance Marathon is a 19-hour party from the early afternoon of April 8th through the night and into the morning of April 9th. And rest assured, it will likely be the best 19-hour party you have ever gone to. 

  1. Wait, do I have to dance the whole time? 

No! Dance Marathon, although the name implies it, is not only dancing. While you will have plenty of opportunity to tear it up on the dance floor listening to our amazing DJs and musical performances, you will also have time to compete in color war games and even do a little bit of arts and crafts. You may choose to learn more about our cause and listen to a speaker talk about their experience living with HIV or AIDS. You can hang out with the kids from Camp Laurel or go around and get a ton of SWAG from our community partners. There will also be a bunch of delicious meals, so make sure to add eating to your DM itinerary. 

  1. This sounds way too good to be true! How much does it cost to sign-up?! 

Dancer registration is usually $20, which will cover all your meals AND a stylish T-shirt to add to your collection. However, since you and I are friends, I’ll let you know that if you register between January 16th and January 27th with the code REGDRIVE, you will get $5 off! 

  1. Amazing! I love a great deal. Is that all I have to do to be a dancer?  

Well, since I am so confident in your unwavering commitment to an AIDS-free generation, I have just one more ask. All dancers are required to fundraise $190 (only $10 for every hour of DM) before the event on April 8th/9th. I know this seems like a huge number, but I assure you that PAC will support you along the way. We even have a whole committee dedicated to helping you fundraise! In the last 5 years alone, PAC and our dancers have raised over $1 million to help fight pediatric HIV and AIDS through research, treatment, and community outreach. 

  1. Okay, I can do that! So, where would my money be going?

We support three amazing beneficiaries with our funds: the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (70%), the UCLA AIDS Institute (15%), and the Laurel Foundation (14%). 1% of the money also goes back to PAC’s Direct Service Fund.

  1. Why Pediatric HIV and AIDS? 

38 million people today are living with HIV in the world and the epidemic is not going anywhere. 1.7 million of those living with HIV are children, with the majority of transmission coming from mother to child. So why do we focus on pediatric HIV and AIDS? Because it is almost entirely preventable! 400 babies a day are born with HIV, yet with proper treatment (known as anti-retroviral therapy), they do not have to be. For only $19, we can provide an HIV-positive mother with the necessary medicine to give birth to an HIV-negative baby. By participating in Dance Marathon, you are directly impacting the lives of people across the globe, helping usher in an AIDS-free generation. Your contributions save lives. 

  1. Wow! I am so excited to make a difference! How do I sign up?! 

I am thrilled you have made the decision to help us fight Pediatric HIV and AIDS! You can register with a team or by yourself here: https://join.pedaids.org/ucla/Account/Register

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