Our next DM Alum to spotlight is half of the duo from Hurricane Productions – Vincent Velasquez. Vincent was involved with DM as a student and as a business man from 2006 until today.
What positions did you hold in DM?
I volunteered as a morale team member for my first two years with DM. As a first year student, I walked into the College Ave. Gymnasium as a Morale team volunteer with some food and water for my fraternity brothers. I heard about DM but didn’t know I’d be walking into a gym filled with hundreds of my peers. As any good Morale volunteer, I noticed something missing in terms of energy in the gym. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to leave once I arrived for my shift. So I snuck out through the smokers area and ran back to my river dorm. I burned a CD with “Blame it on the Boogie,” walked briskly back to the gym and handed the track to the DJ. I walked up on stage and lead the gym in a line dance to the song. Ever since that point, I found my niche with DM.
Describe your overall experience:
I’d like to believe I have one of the most unique DM experiences. I own the responsibility that I am one of the event’s historians and content curators. Aside from all of the entertainment value that everyone sees at the Marathon, I am comfortable being someone who you can always count on to see at the event. I like being that familiar and consistent presence for alumni, vendors, donors, administrators and current students to feel like DM is home and its in good hands.
What’s your favorite thing about DM?
There is nothing more powerful than a group of people working together with one common goal in mind. Every year the goal isn’t just to raise more money. But it’s to do it the right way, with the right people and for the right reasons. And can you name any better reason than the children and families supported through the Embrace Kids Foundation? My favorite thing about DM is that everyone’s favorite thing is the same: It’s FTK.
How has DM impacted your life?
I’ve grown up through Dance Marathon. This will be my tenth DM overall, my eighth leading the Hurricane team. I’ve learned more about myself, how to treat people, and overcome challenges than any other experience in my life. And I’ve had some really smart and caring people to help teach me to be a better person along the way. No matter how taxing the prep becomes during the year or how difficult executing the live event becomes, none of what I have to go through compares to what these patient families and their children go through on a daily basis. I know that may sound cliche but its because of their strength that I stay true to the cause.
What are you excited about for DM 2015?
I’m excited to see all of my friends. All of my true and dear friends come to Dance Marathon – that includes patient families, RU personalities, alumni and the team that is Hurricane Productions.