1. Dance Marathon participants have the opportunity to hear from and interact with PAC’s beneficiaries: the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, Project Kindle, the UCLA AIDS Institute, and PAC’s Direct Service Fund.
2. PAC’s primary beneficiary, EGPAF, is the international leader in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, operating at over 4,500 sites in 19 different countries, including 15 in sub-Saharan Africa.
3. You’ll have the opportunity to bring out your inner child with kids and teens from Project Kindle, our secondary beneficiary, which provides a refuge for children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.
4. Speaking of childhood songs, there’s literally an entire hour dedicated to Disney music. DM or Disneyland?
5. You can finally wear all your crazy costume stuff (onesies highly recommended) - there’s a different dress-up theme for every three-hour-period. Think of all the possible outfits and #fire Instagrams.
6. The performances will be unforgettable. Think a range of acts from UCLA’s incredibly talented a capella groups, dance teams, and bands plus celebrity guests. Nico & Vinz even performed last year!
7. You’ll get to hear powerful testimonials and inspiring speeches from incredibly brave people living with HIV/AIDS of all ages, leading researchers, and other supporters of our Cause.
8. Throughout the fifteen-year history of Dance Marathon, UCLA students have raised over $5 million for our beneficiaries. That money has had a measurable impact.
9. At the time of DM 2016, 600 children were born with HIV every day. Today, that number has fallen to 400 per day. How low will it be after DM 2017?
10. One of the most touching and memorable parts of DM is the Cause Vigil, which brings the reason why you are dancing so much closer to home.
11. You can avoid the crowds at BFit and Wooden. Get your workout in for the quarter in only 26 hours (...ok, maybe not the whole quarter, but we won’t tell).
12. DM makes the walk to Hedrick - even the Stairs of Death - seem like nothing.
13. You’ll get five whole delicious meals for free - we get the broke college student struggle. There's no joy like pancakes at 6am.
14. Participation in DM most definitely earns you the full right to sleep for as long as you want... 26-hour sleep marathon?
15. DM is the perfect opportunity to prove your dancing prowess and challenge your best friend/crush/archnemesis to a dance-off. The entirety of Pauley Pavilion can watch you whip, nae nae, bust out the sprinkler or shopping cart, or whatever else your heart desires.
16. DM is held in historic Pauley Pavilion, so regardless of your athletic ability (or lack thereof) you’re basically one step away from being on the UCLA basketball team, right?
17. You’ll be assigned a color team and a color captain, which is a great way to meet new people and engage in some “friendly” competition. Color Wars are kind of a big deal.
18. So is another one of our beneficiaries: the UCLA AIDS Institute. The Institute conducts groundbreaking research into HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, and is the global leader in the development of a safe and effective HIV vaccine. Just one more reason to be a proud Bruin.
19. In addition to putting on DM, PAC’s Direct Service Fund goes towards putting on mentorships, community-building events, and a Life Skills Retreat benefiting kids and teens in the Los Angeles Area who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.
20. Each color team gets an ambassador from Project Kindle or the local community. So you get to dance for the kids and with the kids (yes, they might be better dancers than you).
21. With 26 hours of music and multiple different DJs, there’s a 99.9% chance that you’ll hear your jam at some point.
22. If your dance moves need some work, don't worry. You’ll learn a short dance at the beginning of DM that you’ll get to perfect by doing it each hour. Watch out Dancing with the Stars.
23. Dancing for 26 hours #forthekids is totally a legitimate excuse to not be doing any homework/studying. Not that you should have much to do Week 1 this spring anyway.
24. Back to the cause behind all of this. After all, our theme for DM 2017 is Be(cause). Approximately 36.7 million people are currently living with HIV. 1.8 million of these people are children and 25.6 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, it is estimated that only 54% of people living with HIV know their status.
25. In June 2016, the UN announced a plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, but the meeting was plagued by controversy surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. This shows that the epidemic and its stigma are still incredibly pressing issues now.
26. Lastly, and most importantly, by registering for DM 2017, you are signing up to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself. Join the fight to end the stigma and get the number of people infected to zero.
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