NOVAdance Celebrates 9th Annual Dance Marathon


NOVADance raised $492,385.19 in its annual fundraiser.

Sarah Wisniewski, Co-News Editor

The University hosted its annual NOVAdance on March 19 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the Jake Nevin Fieldhouse. This year marks the ninth year of the University’s participation in the dance marathon. 


NOVAdance raised $492,385.99 this past weekend, exceeding the $100,000 goal of the day. The money raised during the marathon will assist 492 families. 


The event supports year-long efforts to fundraise for families of children battling childhood cancer. The 12-hour dance marathon acts not only as an opportunity to raise more funds but also celebrates B+ Heroes, the children fighting against cancer. The dance event brings the community together and proves the immense support Villanova students have for the Heroes and their families. 


The theme for NOVAdance 2022 was “Celebrate Our Strength,” a reminder to the entire B+ and NOVAdance community that unity will only further the fight against childhood cancer. 


The event kicked off in the morning with the “Wake Up, Shake Up.” This included introductions, cheers and of course, the signal to start dancing. As community members entered the Jake Nevin basketball court, the main stage for the dance marathon, everyone admired the posters hung around with words of encouragement and shout outs to B+ Heroes. 


One of the first dance events included Zumba with Mackenzie Wenzel of the Villanova Dance Team. 


Following Zumba, members were invited to participate in line dancing. 


Other organizations were invited to showcase their dance moves as well. The Villanova Dance Company performed a routine, followed by Nova Noise, the University’s tap group. VU Superlative, a multicultural dance crew, also performed a routine and encouraged others to get moving too. Each group also fundraised through their social media channels and asked their respective followers to consider donating to the cause. 


Noel Doherty, arguably the most popular TikToker on campus, also joined the fundraising events. He interviewed participants and had community members laughing and smiling during the event. 


“As a freshman, my first NOVAdance experience was a blast,” Doherty said.  “The whole place was brimming with energy and love the entire time. I think everyone should be proud of all we accomplished. I was honored to have been asked to come on stage and interview people live during the TikTok hours, but my favorite parts of NovaDance were watching and cheering on the other performers as well as meeting the Heroes.”


In addition to dance groups, other organizations offered up their singing abilities, including the all-male a capella group Villanova Spires. Minor Problem, a co-ed a cappella group, also performed during the day. 


Hour five was the talent hour when B+ Hero Lilly sang for community members in Jake Nevin.

As talents were being shown off, some students, also known as Sidekicks, shaved their heads in solidarity with the B+ Heroes. 


Further into the marathon, it was “B+ Hero Hour,” where children battling cancer are paired with organizations on campus. Sorority Kappa Delta was paired with B+ Hero Frankie, and community members cheered him on as he received his cape. 


Around 7 p.m., there were lip sync battles between students from all around campus. Each lip sync battle was sponsored by donations, another way for members to raise money. 


Following lip sync battles, the dancing transitioned into a rave with DJ 007 providing the music. The rave was also the teaser to the reveal of the total amount raised, announced at 9 p.m. Dancing continued until 10 p.m., as everyone celebrated the nearly half million dollars raised for families. 


The day was a massive success. The NOVAdance Instagram page shared its thanks to everyone involved. 


“Our hearts are so full,” the organization stated via an Instagram story. “Thank you to everyone who came today and made it such a magical experience.”


Other community members shared their response to the marathon. 


“NOVAdance allows students who ordinarily might be disconnected from the world of pediatric cancer to learn, interact and genuinely support the Heroes and their families who know the disease all too well,” junior Jack Drennen said. “Seeing the positivity radiated throughout the process from both participants and the heroes is infectious and inspiring, and I cannot wait to be involved again next year.”


Students and community members can continue to support NOVAdance throughout the year during other events. Be sure to look out for announcements of more fundraising opportunities to get more involved.