“The Vagina Monologues” cast raises awareness with dance marathon

One in three women worldwide are beaten or raped in their lifetime, according to a report from the United Nations. The global activist movement V-Day brought forth an opportunity for Bradley students, staff and community members to fight for the cause against violence.

V-Day, a 15-year-old organization, focused on ending violence against women, asked women worldwide to dance on Feb. 14 for its first-time event, One Billion Rising. The one billion represents the one out of every three living women worldwide who have been beaten or raped.

Sophomore graphic design major Jenna Muhs, senior biology major Shelby Spierling and sophomore music business and music performance major Tracey Furling, directors of Bradley’s V-day-sponsored production “Vagina Monologues,” said they wanted to join in the collective support by organizing a One Billion Rising Dance Marathon at the Markin Center on Valentine’s Day.

“We wanted to bring this event to Bradley because in the past, campus has been very supportive of our efforts,” Furling said. “Bradley’s campus has always focused on the prevention of domestic abuse, which was shown in our partnership with the Center for Prevention of Domestic Abuse for [the Dance Marathon].”

While some may question why One Billion Rising chose dancing as a way to bring worldwide awareness to domestic abuse, Furling said she believes dancing is a great way to spread the message and offer support.

“Dancing is important because it is wild and uncontrollable; it has no boundaries,

and it is infectious but unifies and promotes happiness,” Furling said.

Most of the proceeds will go to the Center for Prevention of Domestic Abuse with small amounts going to the “Vagina Monologues” production and the official V-Day Foundation.

One Billion Rising’s website says “one billion women violated is an atrocity,” but “one billion women dancing is a revolution.” For about 100 Bradley students, staff and community members, Valentine’s Day brought them the opportunity to be a part of that revolution through dance.

“It felt great to do something I love for a good cause,” said junior advertising major Thanand Kachentawa. “Dancing is a form of expression and it was like expressing everything for those who can’t do so themselves.”

While the dance marathon focused on raising awareness more so than raising money, those involved in the “Vagina Monologues” production have numerous other fundraising events planned. On Feb. 15 and 16 they hosted Subway nights. A few other events are planned for the future as well.

“We will be dorm storming for change and selling merchandise outside of Williams and Geisert during [the week of the show],” Furling said. “[Also] we will be selling merchandise at the show on March 8 and 9.”