NOVAdance Dance Marathon Raises Over $400,000 for Pediatric Cancer


Courtesy of Marina Rouse

NOVAdance volunteers show off their choreographed line-dance.

Elena Rouse, Co-Culture Editor

Villanova’s campus was filled with the jitterbug this past weekend as the community came together for its annual NOVAdance.

During normal times, NOVAdance is a 24-hour dance marathon that raises money for children with cancer. The event was started in 2013 by the Sigma Nu fraternity and Tri Delta sorority in support of the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. The event has continued to grow and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

“The B+ Foundation provides financial assistance to struggling families of children with cancer and funds groundbreaking research programs across the country,” the official NOVAdance website says. “For every dollar donated to The B+ Foundation, $0.95 goes towards family assistance and research.”

Groups across campus get involved to help raise money in the months leading up to the event through social media campaigns, and they are assigned a certain child, or ‘hero,’ for whom they raise money.

Due to the pandemic, the event could not happen last year and had to undergo changes for this semester. Instead of one 24-hour dance marathon, NOVAdance was split up into different sections throughout campus, lasting about 12 hours. There were blow-up games that participants could play at the Oreo. Mendel Field held the main stage and was surrounded by raffles, food trucks and a tent full of B+ merchandise.

The area around the stage had games like cornhole and hula hoops set-up as community members walked around to support the event. Members of the NOVAdance committees treated community goers with a choreographed dance on the field to a mix of songs as the onlookers moved joyously to the beat.

There were also stations set up off campus for different heroes and their respective groups to come out and support them. Each hero was adorned with an orange B+ cape for the event.

Because of COVID-19, many of the heroes could not come out and participate in the event due to their compromised immune systems, but this did not stop the community from showing support. Instead of coming to dance, heroes arrived on campus throughout the day in their cars for a ‘drive-by.’ The Villanova community lined up along the brick pathway near Mendel Field, boisterously cheering as a hero was driven by. One hero, Frankie Knowles, smiled brightly as he waved from the backseat of his parents’ car.

Sophia Sanchez, a junior on the NOVAdance morale committee, shared her thoughts on the day.

“It’s awesome to see people come together despite COVID, and seeing the heroes’ positivity despite everything,” Sanchez said. “It really puts things in perspective.”

Krista Spears, member of the freshmen Sidekick committee, had similar views of the day’s event.

“Today has truly been such a memorable and fun experience,” Spears said. “Not only have I made so many new friends, but I have been reminded of why I joined NOVAdance in the first place. I am so lucky to be a part of such an amazing organization and I am so grateful for having the opportunity to meet all of our inspiring B+ Heroes.”

The energy was palpable as the community, young and old, came out to help with the day. With the children in the hearts of everyone involved and “For The Kids” adorning the clothing of those who attended, the readiness and care of the community was clear.

The night ended with group line dances and performances by multiple groups and Greek life chapters, all for the cause of raising more last minute donations. Students cheered as their peers gave their best moves for the crowd.

Alessandra Tomas, a sophomore who came out to support the event, summed up NOVAdance.

“While not having been part of the NOVAdance committee, it’s been really exciting seeing everything that my friends have worked so hard for come to fruition,” Tomas said. “You don’t have to be a part of the committee to feel the energy and see the impact NOVAdance has not only on our heroes but on the community as a whole.”

This year’s NOVAdance was able to raise a total of $481,753.64 for the cause.

NOVAdance was a day full of togetherness as the community blossomed through its common goal of helping children with devastating illness and, of course, dance.