Loud EDM music was replaced with laughter as comedians Salma Zaky and Katie Green took the makeshift stage in Pauley Pavilion for a quick 20-minute sketch.
Both third-year English student Zaky and graduate student Green, who performed their own respective stand-up routines individually, emphasized topics surrounding the UCLA community by cracking jokes about the campus’ gender-neutral bathrooms and college dating life.
This sense of community is exactly what drove some dancers to participate in the marathon in the first place. Second-year business economics student Dominic Collins, who is participating in the full marathon for the second time, said it serves as the perfect way to get more involved since the event is so well-known in the UCLA community.
“The other day, I was thinking, ‘How does this cause personally affect me?’ And I thought about all my friends in (Pediatric AIDS Coalition at UCLA) that have been so affected by the event and who have a greater sense of philanthropy and benevolence because of it,” Collins said. “I think I owe it to them, for all the efforts they’ve put in, to put in even just 26 hours.”
Hannah Brenchley, a third-year political science student, is also participating in the full marathon for her second time. For Brenchley, the event’s successful fundraising efforts fueled her passion and support.
“With HIV and AIDS, literally the problem is there isn’t enough money and access, so when you get enough people to fundraise, it’s such an easy way to progress the movement and get the word out,” she said.
Brenchley also compared PAC’s mission with the vaccination drives of the 1960s that helped eradicate polio. By looking at the success of past fundraising efforts in eliminating prevalent fatal diseases, one can easily see the importance of events such as these, Brenchley said.
Other dancers on the floor were first-time participants in the marathon. Elana Weingord, a first-year political science major, decided to sign up because she remembered many of her older high school friends who attended UCLA participated in the event during their times here.
Despite her excitement, Weingord said she couldn’t help be wary of how she was going to keep her energy up for the full 26 hours, but remains motivated when thinking about the cause she’s dancing for.
“Whenever I’m feeling low-energy, I just have to remember what it’s all for and I’ll get hyped up again,” she said.