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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    TanzbÇôdeli: Kicking cancer off the dance floor

    Sen. Taylor Bilby was in the room when her mother heard the words: “”You have cancer.””

    Last July, Bilby decided to create a festival named after an inspiring — and challenging — hike she took in Gimmelwald, Switzerland during her senior trip the summer after high school. The festival: Tanzbödeli, a Swiss word that means “”dance floor””. The purpose: to use local art to raise funds for an important cause.

    “”I’d rather not put on Tanzbödeli,”” said Bilby, a business economics sophomore and ASUA senator. “”But the moment you hear those words, ‘You have cancer,’ everything changes … I was with my mom when she heard it, and it was just so incredibly difficult and to dream a world where you don’t have to go through that or where … you can take a pill and it’s gone. That’s what it’s all for.””

    April 1 will mark the culmination of nine months of work (hampered by a few roadblocks) to create the UA’s first arts and culture festival featuring student artwork and wholly benefiting breast cancer.

    So what will Tanzbödeli look like? A “”chill atmosphere”” in something almost like a maze, according to Bilby.

    A $5 ticket gets you a seat inside a world of student art.

    “”It’s real. It’s not edited. The festival is going to speak U of A. This is our language,”” Bilby said. “”Sports get a lot of headlines, but the arts are really important, too.””

    Twenty to 30 different student artists submitted to the festival, from amateur photography from Bilby’s friends to pieces of art that will be sold as fundraising projects. The artwork will be mounted in a sprawling structure that spells out “”hope”” from above.

    The Charles Darwin Experience and CatCall will both be performing at the event as well as other UA students. Most artwork at the event will be for sale.

    “”I had all these big ideas and people have really stepped up to the plate,”” Bilby said. “”I’ve gotten so much help to figure out how to put an event like this on.””

    Many members in ASUA, including ASUA President Emily Fritze, Special Events Coordinator Kaitlin Simpson and two of Bilby’s senatorial colleagues, Mary Myles and Deanna Mariner, helped put on the event. Other help came from places like the University Filmmakers Organization, who helped Bilby film messages of hope to cancer survivors, and community members who donated time, materials and money to make the event possible.

    Bilby hopes to bring in $5,000 for the event to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Ninety percent of proceeds given to the center go straight to funding research, which influenced Bilby’s decision. She said she hopes the festival continues to grow in future years.

    “”It’s such a good cause,”” she said.

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