Humans of UDance

UDance is a student-run philanthropic organization, dedicated to fighting childhood cancer. Humans of UDance places an emphasis on the ‘student-run’ aspect of UDance by highlighting the humans behind our organization. Please visit our instagram @udance for more Humans of UDance spotlights.

Submit your UDance Story to Humans of UDance here.


“In 2005, when I was two and a half years old, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. I spent the next year undergoing chemotherapy, radiation treatment, bone marrow transplants, and too many doctor appointments to count. I was one of the lucky ones and was officially considered cured in November of 2010. Although the treatment was over, I had to overcome many side effects. These included eight surgeries between the ages of 7-17, having to be on crutches for my entire 9th-grade year, and having stunted growth. There were many times that I could have let these obstacles defeat me; many times I thought it would be easier to give up. But deep down I knew that if I gave up, I would have let down the doctors, nurses, researchers, and family members that spent so much time and effort in helping me survive. Looking back upon all that I've been through, my experiences with cancer treatment has made me not only stronger but an overall better person. I am now in a position to help others like me fight their fight. From the time my family held their first Alex's Lemonade Stand I have been committed to the fight against childhood cancer. My campus tour here at UD was the first time I heard about UDance. At that moment, I knew that the University of Delaware was the college for me. It was a chance for me to carry on my dedication to this cause. That is my why: to make sure that no kid has to go through what I did.”


"I have the honor of being a UDance Rep for Delaware Dance Fever. During my freshman year I had the opportunity to meet our team's B+ Hero, Emma. After seeing how happy, positive, and resilient she was, I was inspired to get more involved in UDance. My favorite memory so far was planning a virtual holiday party where Santa surprised Emma and her sister!”


“I am a representative for the cheerleading team and this past year we have gotten the opportunity to meet and get to know our B+ Hero, Demira. Meeting her over the past year has completed our team and has meant so much to us. Demira, is truly my "why" for continuing to dance each year and raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. We have been able to see first hand the impact we can have on people and their families. Over the past year, Demira has completed treatment and has improved so much! My favorite memory was at the FTKickoff, Demira got out of her wheelchair and did cheers and danced with us. It brought us all to tears to see the progress she has made and how amazing she is doing. I continue to dance so we can give every kid a tomorrow. Everyone deserves a chance to chase their dreams, and we help make their dreams a reality!”


“I wanted to get involved with UDance because I have seen the impact that cancer has on people in my own family. No one should have to go through the loss of a family member due to cancer. Knowing that I can help to make a change in this process feels incredibly fulfilling.”


"When I started to consider where I would end up for college my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to go to a larger school with a respected nursing program. There was something missing when it came down to the final list of schools I was deciding between, I needed something to draw me to the school and make me feel that sense of belonging. That was when in March 2019, my mom sent me an email about UDance 2019 and the unbelievable year they had. She sent it with a little caption along the lines of something to consider. It was the exact thing I needed to make my decision to come to UD. Never in a million years would I have expected to be here as an Executive Board member of that same organization that drew me to this University. UDance has become my family on campus. What started as a spontaneous application to the event operations committee during May 2020 after being sent home from my freshman year, to an unforgettable UDance 2021 that left me wanting to do more, I have found my purpose here on campus. Through UDance, I have found one of the most inspirational group of leaders who I am beyond honored to call my friends. In addition, it has allowed me to be a part of something so much more than myself. I am able to help fight childhood cancer with an organization that provides life changing support to families with children battling cancer, along with being inspired by our B+ Heroes who teach us what strength and perseverance truly is. As event ops chair, I have had the honor to work alongside three people who I now call my best friends to plan and facilitate the events associated with UDance year round. Just recently, our Hero Holiday Party took place in Perkins, and the amount of students who showed up from all different organizations across campus made my heart so full. Every minute of energy put into the planning of the event was worth it when seeing all of our B+ Heroes hanging out with the organizations they are paired with, performing their hearts out on the stage, and just having an amazing time being kids. I am so grateful for this opportunity to try and change the future of childhood cancer. I can not wait to see what the rest of UDance 2022 has in store for us. One day I know we will dance in celebration.”


"I got involved with UDance because I want to see a world where no families have to suffer from childhood cancer.”

Enzo (middle) and his director, Maddie (left) and fellow athletics chair, Lindsey (right)


“This past spring, I struggled. Sitting in the same room for over a year, staring at the same laptop screen, with only the same backyard to escape took a toll on my mental health. I tried everything, from exploring new music, Facetiming friends, and even journaling. There are only so many Netflix shows you can watch. All of these things helped, but I found that I was missing that in-person interaction that I thought I would be fine without. One of the things I did with my newly-acquired free time was to join the UDance Brand Ambassador Program (now Media Relations Representatives). Since we were totally virtual, I figured it would be an easy way to snag some merch with minimal commitment. The day before UDance, BAP needed some volunteers to help set-up, so I signed up. That decision changed my life profoundly. I was so nervous getting ready to interact with people in such a large setting for the first time in so long - I felt like everyone who was on campus had gotten so much closer while I was just at home getting left behind. I remember walking into Trabant and seeing the Exec board unloading their cars, everyone buzzing around the building and feeling overwhelmed. I finally saw Kerry, whom I was texting to check in with and whom I'd only seen on Zoom a few times. She smiled at me like an old friend as I went on to help out wherever I could. Throughout the day, I met so many people from Exec, including Chase and Nick. How could these people who I had never met be so kind and welcoming towards me, a total stranger, especially when they have such tight bonds with each other? I remember driving home that night and feeling so tired yet so fulfilled. When Exec applications rolled around, it was a no-brainer for me, and I haven't looked back since. I now have almost 50 new family members, and every Monday night this semester has always been the highlight of my week meeting with them. Being on the Athletics team for UDance, I've attended sporting events I've never been to for the first time. My new best friend is the 13-year-old brother of a B+ Hero. Sure, I still struggle; I have a lot of late nights and days where I don't stop moving, but I have moved through this semester with a whole new perspective. We have a saying that we live by: We don't "have" to do things, we "get" to do them. There are so many people who would love to be in my position, but for some reason I was chosen. And I'll never take that for granted. Somehow, I ended up where I'm supposed to be surrounded by the people I'm supposed to be with. I want to help someone feel what I felt inside after pulling out of the Trabant parking garage in April. This year has been and is only going to continue to be special, and I can feel it. So let's see what we "get" to do together.”

Read about Enzo’s story on our Instagram


"Helping others has always been a passion of mine, and it’s been a major part of shaping me into who I am today. When I found out about the amazing work UDance and The B+ Foundation do, I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. I believe that no child should have to hear that they have cancer. They should be able to experience a normal childhood, or at least one not filled with cancer treatment. I dance for the kids and I dance for B+ Hero Mateo.”

Read about Julia’s story on our Instagram


"I dance because when my mom was battling breast cancer I remember her having a really hard time. After seeing everything my mom went through with that experience, I could never imagine a kid having to go through that as well as their families. Then, when a very close family friend lost their 8 year old son to a brain tumor, it became so real to me. While he was a fighter and was told he would only survive to the age of three, no family should ever go through such a terrible experience. Emily Guida, one of the UDance Executive Board members and a very close friend, is such a role model to me. After seeing how passionate she is about UDance and how much she contributes has inspired me to do the same. This is why I dance.”


"I dance because my Grandma was diagnosed with cancer and was told that she had 6 months to live. Some days it seemed like she didn't have cancer at all and other days were unbearable for her. Another why of mine is because at a young age, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and soon passed away. These two occasions were heartbreaking and I miss them and think about them everyday. My last why is because families of children with cancer need our help. No child deserves to suffer and being able to touch these families lives is life changing knowing that I am helping these people along with the group members of FFTK (Freshmen For the Kids) and all of the UDance team. I cannot be more proud to be a part of UDance FFTK and thank you to everyone who is so great in this world!”


"I joined UDance because coming into college I wanted to make a long-lasting impact and do something that truly matters. UDance has provided these opportunities and I’m forever grateful.”


“I got involved in UDance through my chapter, Delta Sigma Pi (DSP) because I wanted an executive board position that could help impact others. UDance allows me to be myself through fundraising as well as allow me to help with something bigger than any of us.”

Leah (left) and her director, Mae (right)


“A year ago, I was just finishing my first semester of college from my bedroom at home. I hadn’t even stepped foot on campus as a student yet, but I had already made a decision that would change my life. After high school, I knew that I wanted to continue being involved in organizations that would allow me to meet new people and also help others. UDance seemed to be the perfect way for me to support a cause I was already passionate about, plus I thought it would be a great way for me to make some friends since I had only known people from my classes. Little did I know that a year later I’d be on the Executive Board, surrounded by my closest friends and the most supportive community. Through the program I was in (Freshmen for the Kids), I was able to attend weekly meetings ran by Liv and Juls (who I looked up to as role models and helped me to become the leader I am today), plan events with some of my now best friends, and raise money for families of children with cancer. We were able to meet some members of Exec on zoom last year, and now I get to work alongside so many of them that have returned or just joined. It was so interesting when I found out how many of them knew who I was the whole time and were watching the impact I was making because I was doing the same to them. They knew my name and the stickers I was selling, and I remember seeing them on social media, zoom, or in person in the spring and wanting to be just like them. I had never really thought twice about applying for Exec because I knew it was something I was interested in, but seeing them on the stage during Day of UDance confirmed that this is what I was meant to be doing. I’ve worked with children for years, and have known that’s what I want to do in the future, which is one reason childhood cancer awareness has always been an important cause to me. I then saw first hand how beneficial and impactful the work we were doing was to these families in such a difficult time. Even though I originally thought I had a smaller role, I soon learned I was making a big difference. Today as the FFTK/EC Chair on the Res Life Team, I get to be the Liv and Juls (except we're Mae and Leah) for 50 incredible and hardworking students who also joined UDance to make friends and help kids with cancer. Knowing the impact I can have on these students, our B+ Heroes, and other people in the community makes me feel so lucky every day. I am forever grateful that I was given the opportunity to work with the people I looked up to, and now call family, all while raising money and awareness for the 46 children who are diagnosed with cancer every school day. It’s hard to put into words how much UDance means to me, but I know I’ve found my place at the University of Delaware. A year ago, I wouldn't have been able to imagine how much my life could change from one decision as seemingly simple as joining UDance and now I couldn't imagine my life without it. For the Kids, Always.”


“I’m a part of UDance because I have a passion for fundraising and I have had various forms of cancer circulate throughout my family so it’s important to me to do my part to help fight such a horrible illness.”

Sam and other members of the Event Operations Committee at the 2021 Hero Holiday Party


“I have been on the UDance Event Operations Committee for three years and have been a rep for the Student Nurses Organization for two years. I first heard about UDance when I was applying to UD, I believe it was mentioned at one of the campus tours I attended. Immediately, I knew that this was something I wanted to be apart of when I was in college, as I participated in similar events throughout high school. When I got to UD, I did not know much about UDance or how to be involved. Luckily, the Student Nurses Organization (SNO) had a team which I joined and that year I strived to be apart of the Comma Club (raise $1000 for UDance). Fast forward to March 24, 2019, I had raised over 1.2K for the B+ Foundation, danced for 12 hours at UDance, and was able to participate in B+ Hero Talent Show with SNO’s B+ hero Mariah. After this amazing event, I knew that I wanted to be apart of UDance in a bigger way my sophomore year. That is when I joined the Event Operations Committee. I had received an email about this committee and thought it would be fun to join. Throughout my sophomore year I helped with every UDance event that was put on and got to create the visions that we had for UDance 2020 each week in our meetings. Sadly in 2020, the day of UDance was cancelled due to COVID-19, but I still felt that we were able to push fundraising in order to help those who need it the most. Similarly to sophomore year, when I was a junior I wanted to be on the Events Operations Committee. I was hoping that I would finally be able to see the vision of a Day of UDance come together and raise even more to help the children and families who need our support. Additionally, this is when I became an RSO rep, as I wanted to be that much more involved. In this role, I was able to communicate with so many more amazing people who love UDance and I built a connection to B+ Hero Mariah, who is SNO’s B+ hero. Now in my senior year, I serve on both the Event Operations Committee and as a representative for SNO. I continue to fight for this amazing cause because these are families who truly need our help and should never have to go through the pain of learning their child has cancer. I also continue to dance because of all of the amazing people I have met throughout the UDance community. Everyone I have met has been amazing and always wants to do as much as they can to help these children, which is an amazing quality to see. It also brightens my day when I see a B+ Hero’s eyes light up at different things we have created at events and see how much they enjoy the things we work so hard to set up for them. I dance because I believe every child deserves the chance to grow up. I will continue to fight for the kids until one day we can dance in celebration of a cure.”

Read about Sam’s story on our Instagram


“I got involved in UDance because I wanted to be a part of something meaningful. I joined the Media Relations Representatives (MRR) team this year and it’s so fulfilling! I love promoting UDance’s message as well as fundraising!”


"My reason for joining UDance and my why are something I hold close to my heart. Unfortunately when I was in middle school a girl in my grade passed away from brain cancer. I dance because if I can help fight so that parents never have to hear the words “your child has cancer” again, that’s amazing. When my classmate was fighting childhood cancer, my community really came together and did amazing things for her, her family, and in her passing started a foundation in her name. Joining UDance gave me that same opportunity to be in a community full of people who are so selfless and kind!! I have made one of my best friends in UDance (ily emily) and I am so beyond grateful for all the relationships UDance has brought me. Regardless of if I have ever talked to someone before or we are best friends, everyone is so friendly!! I have to say UDance is one of the best organizations on campus and all the students involved and all of our B+ Heroes are the best!!”


“I joined UDance so that we can one day dance in celebration of a cure. I have a friend who passed away from childhood cancer and I raise money so that no one else has to experience that! My favorite UDance memory was when I got to dance with the Student Nurses Organization’s (SNO) B+ Hero, Mariah during the talent show!”

Nicole (left) and her fellow Permits and Organization Liaison Chair, Jewel (right)


"I am currently a senior on the UDance Executive Board. When I first heard about UDance my freshman year, I knew this was something I wanted to be involved in because of how passionate students were about giving back to the community. Over the past few years, I have learned that UDance has a way of bringing together selfless, hardworking, and caring individuals. Throughout my four years here, I have held many different positions including Engagement Coordinator, Events Operations Committee Member, Chapter Representative, and currently Permits and Organization Liaison Chair on the UDance Executive Board Canning Team. Even though each position helps a different branch of UDance, together they all taught me valuable lessons. UDance has forced me to step out of my comfort zone by speaking up about things I am passionate about and reaching out to family, friends, teachers, etc. for their help. I have to thank UDance for allowing me to become a respective, responsible, and approachable leader! Overall, I am beyond grateful for the all the opportunities UDance has brought me and the lifelong connections I have made along the way. I am BEYOND excited to see how UDance will continue to impact the future!”


B+ Hero Caleb & AEPi Fraternity


Full Circle: B+ Hero to UDance Executive Board