So Sunday was D day. Danceathon Day. This would be the culmination of months of ‘Team Honk’ planning in their quest to persuade a group of relatively normal parent bloggers and their friends to adorn ridiculous outfits, travel from all around the country to London, dance for six hours fuelled by little more than a cereal bar, feature in copious photographs and videos, ranging from mildly humiliating to downright embarrassing, send said images spiralling across social media where they might be seen by their employers, co-workers, their children’s teachers and perhaps worst of all, their parents! All in the name of raising a few quid for Comic Relief.
It would seem that about ninety of us blogger types thought that was a top idea.
I’ve put together a short two minute highlights video which offers a taste how much fun we had that weekend. I’ve also included a few clips of our children and some of their friends who held their own mini danceathon in the street. Some passers by looked at them strangely but quite a few people put money in their collecting tin, made requests and even joined in for a while. The children raised a very impressive £20 off their own bat plus a £10 donation I’d already been promised.
After an early start and the long journey to Wembley via car, train, tube and foot, all I really felt like was putting my feet up and nursing a strong coffee. I couldn’t begin to visualize standing up for six hours let alone taking part in a high impact televised six hour dancing marathon, but the minute I stepped through the doors of Wembley Arena I was enveloped by the amazing atmosphere.
As we waited to start dancing, supportive messages from friends and the all important emails,
“You have a new sponsor” began to pop up on my phone. This support was so motivating that I hardly looked at my watch until the last hour of dancing, at which point my brain started to struggle with following the choreography on the stage in front of me.
The danceathon was a brilliant event, made all the better since hearing our 90 strong, ridiculously attired “Team Honk” blogging group has so far raised over £31,000 for Comic Relief – and counting. Amazingly people have apologized to me for ‘only’ donating £5 but thanks to your generosity I smashed my £150 target. It just goes to show that every penny does count. That money will really help change the lives of those in desperate need both here in the UK and in Africa.
But don’t just take my word for it. Whilst my fellow “team honk” dancers were still nursing a spectacular variety of aches and pains the day after the danceathon, I jumped straight in to ask for feedback about the day.
“Yesterday was an incredible event. 2000 people coming together to get out of their comfort zones to raise money for people leading really hard lives both here in the UK and in Africa. All we had to do was dance and we changed lives. What better way to spend a Sunday?”
Co-organizer Annie from Mammasaurus was also pleased with how the event played out:-
“the Danceathon was such an effective way to raise money and bring people together.”
“It was much harder but much more fun than I’d expected – it was great to be part of the lovely Team Honk”.
We dancers had a ball, but as fellow “team honk” blogger Liska at New Mum Online points out, we put our all into making sure we “earned” that sponsorship on the day:-
“It was like 6 hrs of aerobics or Zumba. You couldn’t rely on instructors getting tired as there was a new one with new vigour and moves every 30 minutes. Watch out on Friday night’s show for some highlights”
We were lucky to be provided with access to unlimited bottled water but with only bumbags to hold our valuables, there wasn’t much room for food apart from the odd glucose tablet or square of jelly. I think we all agree that the atmosphere and support were what kept us going for all those hours.
“It was amazing. The buzzing atmosphere inside Wembley was like nothing I’ve experienced before. Exhausting but amazing!”
Joanne from Charlie Moos Blog was spurred on by the team around her
“The atmosphere was amazing and being in the crowd really lifted you. There were many of times I’d have given up but a simple smile, nod, hug from a fellow blogger and that feeling of being in it together kept me going.”
“One day of pain, 6 hours dancing – and we all helped to save lives…I’d say that was a damn good trade off, wouldn’t you?”
I’ve already been approached by a whole bunch of friends who are keen to be involved next year so I’m guessing there’ll be no getting out of it for me! The fundraising pages will be open for a while still so if you’d like to add a donation, you can do it here:-