The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

84° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Courage in Motion Dance-a-Thon to raise funds for Beads of Courage

Jordin O’Connor
Jordin O’Connor / Arizona Daily Wildcat 3.25 Nolan Austin, Zachary Bigbee, Deshawn Morten, Daniel Burgueno, and Ashley Hammond dance for Beads of Courage.

The UA will host its third annual 10-hour dance marathon in April for community members to help draw awareness and funds for a Tucson-based foundation.

The Courage in Motion 10-Hour Dance-a-Thon will take place at the Student Recreation Center on April 6 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will help raise funds for Beads of Courage, an organization that supports children living with serious and complex medical conditions. Participants who have registered to dance have asked sponsors to support them for hour-long dance increments. The event will honor children receiving treatment at The University of Arizona Medical Center Diamond Children’s Center.

Erika Colombi, a graduate student in the UA School of Dance, said she came upon the idea to merge music and dancing as a form of therapy and fundraising into her service with Beads of Courage.

“My hope is to start some movement intervention for the children,” Colombi said. “The music and the movement gives [the patients] a connection with their body. Everybody can hear music and anybody can move in any way they want and it’s hard to not gain some enjoyment out of that.”

The donations raised from Courage in Motion will go to Beads of Courage, which was founded by UA alumna Jean Baruch. Registered participants in the dance marathon will wear two beads made by glass artists. At the end of the event, one bead will remain with the participant and the other will be gifted to children receiving treatment at Diamond Children’s.

“[Beads] run deep within our human nature,” Baruch said. “Humans have been adorning themselves for over hundreds of thousands of years in beads. They are not disposable and the kids in our program are very proud of them, as they should be, because they are symbols of their day to day courage.”

Colombi choreographed an original piece, which will be performed by several UA dance students during a portion of the dance marathon.

“I hope the audience will make the connection between the dance and the Beads of Courage foundation,” said Ashley Hammond, a dance freshman who is performing in the dance choreographed by Colombi. “We are representing these children performing this dance, and it will be beautiful with a little bit of pain. I hope the audience makes the connection that the children really need their funds because they are trying to find happiness in the pain they are experiencing.”

The Beads of Courage Program is currently implemented in more than 150 children’s hospitals throughout the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the United Kingdom. Beads of Courage currently supports more than 30,000 children with its programs. Margaret Zinser, a local glass artist and volunteer on the board of directors for Beads of Courage said that working with such an organization puts her work into better context.

“Providing enrichment in treatment for children with serious illnesses is a good feeling,” Zinser said. “It doesn’t cost much to get beads through and it helps out in a very significant way.”

More to Discover
Activate Search