Saturday, Jan. 26, Niner Media will host “A Fit Body for a Fit Mind: Dance ‘Till You Drop Competition.” The competition will be in the Student Union, sections D through I of the third floor, from 6 to 10 p.m.
For the four-hour span of the event, participants will be given colored wristbands and are expected to continuously dance for the entirety of the competition.
When a participant stops dancing, they will be eliminated and their wristband will be removed.
At 10 p.m. if more than one participant or couple is remaining there will be a final round in which remaining participants will engage in a judged dance-off.
Tickets are $5 for single entries and $8 for couple entries.
“This year is the first year and it’s going to be ground-breaking,” said Andrew Baker, producer of Niner Media’s Niner News and organizer of the dance competition.
“You don’t have to be a trained dancer, we just want you there. The rules are posted on the Facebook page but basically you just have to keep moving.”
The winning participant will receive a grand prize basket containing over $1,400 worth of Charlotte sports tickets and memorabilia, including an official National Football League (NFL) sports helmet autographed by Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers. Pizza, provided by Cici’s Pizza, will be available during the event.
The first 100 attendees to arrive will also receive tickets to the Tribute to Journey concert Friday, Feb. 8.
This will be a first in UNC Charlotte’s history and give faculty, staff and students an opportunity to break out dance moves while supporting local sports and fitness in elementary schools.
All proceeds from the event will be used to purchase athletic equipment for University Meadows Elementary School, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) located less than two miles from UNC Charlotte’s main campus.
Another Niner Media member, Megan Hennings, will be helping with the competition as one of the MCs.
“It’s not just about dancing. There’s going to be something there for everyone. Usually at these types of events we see a lot of girls in attendance, but I think the sports aspect and the door prizes are going to attract a lot of guys too,” said Hennings.
“I’m really excited about the event. I think everyone wants to help University Meadows, but there are tons of other incentives too.”
Summer 2012, Baker investigated local elementary school programs and realized there was a major difference in sports education today than when he attended grade school.
What he discovered was that the focus on sports education seems to be slipping at the elementary level.
“When I was in elementary school, we had all the sports equipment we needed,” said Baker.
“I’m afraid that today that’s not the case anymore for many schools. Most kids spend recess indoors on the internet or playing video games. However, I feel that the right push could help change that.”
After some research and a tour of the school, Baker identified University Meadows as a place that could benefit from better funding for sports equipment.
“When I walked into the school’s gym during the tour, I could tell it had seen better days,” said Baker.
“But I could also tell it was a good place to be and the kids seemed to like being there.”
Most noticeable to Baker was the positive response of the school’s new principal, Margaret Scott.
“Her reaction struck a cord with me. She had just accepted her position at University Meadows, but she was very open to my ideas. When she told me her plans for the school’s sports program, they lined up exactly with the goals of Niner Media. I knew this was the school we were going to help. It was a no-brainer,” said Baker.
After deciding to create a dance competition, Baker spent the next few months sending emails and making phone calls in an effort to gain sponsors and raise funds for the event.
The Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Checkers, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kannapolis Intimidators and the Charlotte 49ers are all sponsoring the event.
“This is for University Meadows kids and while I want everyone to have fun, I don’t want people to lose sight of that,” said Baker.
For more information on the event, visit the event’s official Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/bamcodf.