Meet Your 2016 Emcees!

by Samantha Wackerman and Saloni Singhvi

NUDM’s Marketing and Media committee sat down with our 2016 Emcees, Brad McCandless (Weinberg ‘16) and Sarah Thompson (SESP ‘17) to learn a little more about them. Between then, they have 210 logged hours of dancing for NUDM, an unlimited supply of stories and jokes, a few too many Jason Derulo song requests and a set of initials that unsettlingly remind us of Gossip Girl besties… meet our Emcees!

Why did you guys want to be Emcees?

B: When I walked into the tent my freshmen year, I didn’t know there was going to be an emcee — I really didn’t know how the event was going to work, and then when I saw these two big presences with smiling faces, these really nice people run on stage, I was like: “OMG my idols!” So I knew this was something I wanted to eventually do. I really couldn’t see myself in any other role. Then last year, I saw Sarah dancing in the tent and I thought: “that’s a winner, that’s my partner.”

S: (laughing) I echo everything Brad just said. For me this just combines everything that I’ve ever loved and wanted to do: I get to help people and dance at the same time! Those are the only two things I’ve ever wanted to do in my life, and if I can use what I’m good at to help other people, that’s incredible.

What was your favorite memory of DM?

S: I feel like it’s almost so hard to pick out my favorite piece of it — but I absolutely love how it’s one time of the year when I’m connected with the people at my school. Like, we’re all just standing in the tent and we become a community. I’m with these people for 30 hours and it’s just like this crazy powerful thing. You’re never just with one group of people for so long all united by one thing you’re going through together — being so 100% there the entire time.

B: It’s the most crazy, immersive experience. For me, my family had a pretty close personal connection with Starlight, last year’s beneficiary. By the end of last year’s DM, leading up to final reveal, I was very emotionally vulnerable. So the reveal every year, and especially last year, just does it for me. Everyone experiences that “this is why we dance” moment during that time. That’s why the reveal is so amazing for me, and its not just the monetary aspect, it’s the meaning behind it all.

S: My freshman year, seniors on my team at the reveal were all of a sudden just pouring tears, I’d never seen such an emotional reaction. I was just like “that’s going to be me in 3 years.”

What advice do you have for freshman who are dancing for the first time?

B: You’ve probably heard great things and bad things, and that’s just so dependent on how different people choose to remember the 30 hours. For me, Dance Marathon is really amazing and great because I choose to remember the best moments, whereas other people choose to remember their most tired moments trying to get up from breakfast. So take everything with a grain of salt and try to go into it to have your own best experience. Know that everyone in that tent is in it together.

What celeb video do you want to see and why?

B: My biggest celeb video dream, personally, is Derek Jeter…

S: You mean Derek Cheater?

B: Okay Red Sox Fan… He’s just a personal idol for me growing up in New York and playing shortstop. More comedically, Chris Pratt would be so cool.

S: I feel like everyone’s top one is always Beyoncé, she’s a queen. It was always Beyoncé or Obama, but then Obama gave one so now it’s like NOW WE NEED BEYONCE. Ohh, or Justin Bieber! Recently, I like many, have become a big fan.

B: Would you call yourself a Belieber?

S: I have in fact become a Belieber. Don’t tell my boss, but for the past 3 weeks at work I have only watched videos of Justin Bieber and puppies. You’d be amazed how many of those videos are on the internet.

What is your spirit animal?

S: I’ve been told a few times that my spirit animal is a bunny, but then someone recently told me that I’m too vicious to be a bunny. So I think I’ve settled on a bunny with fangs.

B: You’re more like a puppy. Specifically, a Labrador puppy.

S: I always want to say that! There you go.

B: I don’t know… I’ve always tried to give this thought but I could never narrow it down. What do you think?

S: I think you’re kind of like a Jack Russell Terrier.

B: I’ve gotten that before! Okay, I’ll take that.

S: My favorite move is a little bit of my own creation, but I feel like it’s become a bit normalized. It’s like when you make direct eye contact with another person, and then you turn to the side straight faced, and do not smile, and then just kind of chest pop.

B: That is such a good one, you can really bond with someone like that. If you make eye contact with someone in like block six and bond with someone across the tent you are automatically best friends.

S: I feel like that happened to us last year. Great moment.

What crazy things are you going to do to pump up the crowd?

S: We can’t give away our secrets!

B: I don’t think we can give away that stuff… If you know it’s coming, then its less of a surprise, but know that we do have a lot of crazy ideas in place and we can’t wait to show you guys.

S: We’re in the process, and we want to keep you on your toes!

And there you have it, dancers! Looks like you’ll have to stay on your toes until the weekend of March 4th-March 6th.