Moments : Rutgers Dance Marathon 2014

Rutgers Dance Marathon, New Jersey’s largest student-run philanthropic event, raised a record breaking $622,533.98 this year for the non-medical needs of kids with cancer and blood disorders, on behalf of Embrace Kids Foundation.

There’s only so much we can say about Rutgers Dance Marathon. Take a look at the above slideshow to see some of our favorite moments from this year’s marathon.

But RUDM is so much more than your run-of-the-mill charity event. The entire marathon is organized and executed by devoted student volunteers. These students are juggling classes, extra-curricular activities, jobs, internships, and their own personal lives; but all that takes a backseat when RUDM comes around. Students, faculty, and families are all dedicated to the cause of helping to make the lives of children (and their families) just a bit easier.

Over the course of the 30-hour marathon, participants have no shortage of activities to take part in. From bands and student performances, to arts and crafts, movies, and everything in between; no one has the opportunity to even think about being bored.

Dancers, volunteers, and participants alike are united in hope. Hope that their efforts can help, even just a little, in taking the burdens of the shoulders of those less fortunate. It’s truly a sight to see an entire community come together as a family to benefit these children and their families.

The Rutgers Dance Marathon credo explains it best: Families First. Everything Counts. Surrender Yourself.

To learn more about Embrace Kids Foundation, or if you’d like to make a donation, visit their website:
To learn more about Rutgers Dance Marathon, visit their website:



What is Rutgers Dance Marathon?

Every DM’er has been there – family and friends asking,”What is Rutgers Dance Marathon?” You try to tell them in a way so that’s its easy to understand: “It’s 30 hours awake and on your feet to raise money for Embrace Kids Foundation.” You continue by telling them that Embrace Kids raises funds for the non-medical needs of families with children with cancer and blood disorders.


But even with those quick facts, sometimes its hard for others to grasp. It’s not easy to capture the essence of Rutgers Dance Marathon in a short sentence or two. 

So, folks, we’re here to rescue you from any more awkward explanations. Feel free to share this anyone who’s asking for dance lessons, or anyone who donated to you because they love you very much and want to support you in all your endeavors (even though they have no idea what you are actually doing for 30 hours).

So, what is Rutgers Dance Marathon?



Why do people even sign up for this thing? Why are a bunch of college students sacrificing their precious free time to stand for 30 hours? It’s simple – the hope that they can make a difference in a family and in a child’s life.  Hope that although these kids can’t be cured, today might be just a little easier, a little happier for them.



Patient families open their hospital doors and let down their guard for college students in the RU4Kids program. It’s been described by parents that learning your child had cancer completely throws your world into chaos. Relatives and friends can only take off so many days and travel so many evening. These families meet college students through RU4Kids and trust that these students will lighten the burden and bring some relief. Parents are forced to blindly have faith in strangers to help organize a chaos they never knew before.



Participants aren’t alone during marathon weekend. Students sign up as groups and organizations so they can support each other, mentally and physically. You know someone is a true friend when they carry you on their back so your legs can get some rest. You know they’re like family when they give your stinky, aching feet a massage at 4AM. Experiences like these create a bond unlike any other. These people see you at your best, at your worst and cry with you during Family Hour. These people are family.



30 hours in an arena with a thousand  other college students? What’s not fun about that! Live bands, countless activities and games, and free food are all part of the experience. Club DM and the Line Dance are highlights of the weekend, too. Plus, the people are great. Anyone who is surrendering themselves to a weekend at DM is pretty awesome (and someone you should be friends with).



It’s hard to explain a feeling so intense and tangible that is created by a thousand people in one room. The last hours of Rutgers Dance Marathon between Family Hour and the Total are exhilarating, and the experience is created simply by love.

In love with Rutgers Dance Marathon? Want to donate ? You can right now at or here.

Rutgers Dance Marathon is  April 5 & 6th at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). It’s open to the public, so anyone can go visit the students, the kids and the families.

7 Essential Tips for Brides-to-be

7. Design - When it comes to your wedding, few things are more important than design. From your dress, colors, themes and lighting – design ties it all together.  Use resources like The Knot and Wedding Wire to help you stylize your wedding.

6.  Style -  Spend more time on having fun than worrying about every little detail. Your demeanor comes through in your photos and video. Carry yourself with style. Save the worrying for the professionals you hired to help celebrate your day. You’ll be glad you did.

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Six Unforgettable Sweet 16 Themes

Choosing a theme for a Sweet 16 is critical to the overall feel for the party. It can be a stressful experience. Do you go for originality, creativity or draw your theme from pop culture? Or do you try something more traditional? These are common questions that families encounter when planning a Sweet 16.

Check out these parties that fall into both categories while still being unique all on their own:

6. Sara’s Paris Theme


After doing some searching on Google – we think she stumbled upon our snow video from Raven’s Sweet 16 in neighboring Flushing – Sara’s family booked Hurricane for its high-quality entertainment and design portfolio.

Sara’s family took a trip out to Red Bank to meet with Hurricane so that they could customize each element of her Paris-themed Sweet 16.

The event featured entertainment, photography, videography, and an Instagram photo booth from Hurricane Productions.

5.  Brianna’s NYC Theme

New York is the pinnacle of opulence. With Brianna’s NYC theme, we brought all the bright lights and energy of the city to her party.

Hurricane created a custom animation including Brianna’s name and face in Times Square’s jumbo-screens along with a skyline GOBO.

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Princess Themed Sweet 16 at Madeline’s On Vosseller

Madeline’s on Vosseller serves as a full-service venue and catering hall for any and all events. Their convenient location, ease of planning, and reasonable pricing make them an easy choice for families looking for the best venue to host their Sweet 16.  Madeline’s attentive staff and Hurricane Productions entertainment expertise allowed Ally’s parents to rest easy knowing they were in good hands, letting Ally feel like a princess for her Sweet 16.

When planning her Sweet 16, Ally’s family already had plenty of experience. Having booked Hurricane Productions for her sister, Bridget’s, Sweet 16, Ally’s parents knew the quality of service that Hurricane provides. Services for Ally’s Sweet 16 included twin totem lighting, screens with a one-of-a-kind logo, photography, and energetic entertainment from some of Hurricane’s best talent. Providing carefully curated music for the night was co-founder DJ Strato Doumanis, motivating the party was star emcee Robert Padovano, and capturing all of the evening’s events was photographer Nick Nittoli.

Hurricane’s own brand of party starting ensured that no attendees were left out of the fun. DJ Strato and Emcee Robbie are no strangers to Sweet 16s and were able to get the entire party jumping and screaming for Ally.

With expert planning and execution, Ally’s Sweet 16 was enjoyed by everyone in attendance. Her parents were able to let loose and enjoy the evening knowing everything was taken care of from the get-go.

More photos from the party are available on Hurricane’s Facebook page.

To find out more about what Hurricane Productions offers for Sweet 16s, visit the website or call - 888.393.7066

Valentine’s Sweet 16 at The Graycliff

The Graycliff is a luxurious catering hall in Moonachie, NJ, beautifully lined with a mirrored perimeter in the main room with crystal lighting throughout. The crystal lighting accentuated Kristina’s custom made Name-in-Lights gobo and thematic uplighting throughout the room. Along with twin totem lighting fixtures, the room was fully decked out for Kristina’s big day.

Hurricane Productions must be doing something right when their talent supersedes their own reputation. Kristina found emcee Robbie Padovano online and saw the energy he brings to events he works. She decided that she needed to have him for her Valentine’s Sweet 16, and of course Hurricane obliged. It was clear to see that love was in the air at this Valentine’s Sweet 16 as Robbie easily turned on his charms for the party guests, young and old, to dance the night away.

Hurricane co-owner and head DJ Strato Doumanis provided music for the whole night. With the aid of twin totem lighting also provided by Huricane, Kristina’s party had a night club vibe which brought the excitement out in everyone. Hurricane Productions also provided photography to capture the highlights of Kristina’s party.

Hurricane Productions provides Sweet 16 DJ entertainment, photography and lighting. To find out more information visit the website or call – 888.393.7066.

Princeton Marriott at Forrestal plays host to Classic Winter Sweet 16

The people always make the party. Alexis’ party was all about her, with family and friends celebrating her special day together.

Alexis and her family chose the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal for its classic charms and ample space for any sized party. For her winter sweet 16 party, Alexis chose a gold & snowflake theme.

Hurricane Productions provided entertainment, lighting, and special features to create a unique experience for Alexis and her guests.

With careful consideration, Hurricane Productions used Alexis’ theme and created custom “Name in Lights” gobos, color-coordinated lighting for the room, and special animations displayed on screens for the whole night.

Hurricane also provided Hurricane Pulse; a live instagram feed, and step and repeat with unlimited prints, for Alexis’ Sweet 16. Using the hashtag #alexissweet16party guests photos streamed instantly to screens around the room.

Keeping in line with her theme, Alexis’ family opted for Hurricane’s snow effect. Using a special machine, they are able to create a magical snowy environment at special moments of the night. Alexis had the snow effect during her father/daughter dance which made for a truly touching moment.

DJ Alvin Gay provided music for the party all night. He was able to accommodate all requests including one of Alvin’s favorites: Caribbean music. One of Hurricane’s seasoned emcees, Benny Klein, kept the energy up all night.

To find out more about what Hurricane Productions offers for Sweet 16s, visit the website or call - 888.393.7066.


Hurricane debuts first ever Super Bowl commercial, “The Wedding Planner”

Hurricane Productions continues to expand its portfolio with the introduction of commercial production. “The Wedding Planner” is Hurricane Productions’ Super Bowl commercial showcasing the online wedding planning portal that allows couples to plan their event on any device, any time, any where.

What started as a joke soon led to a full blown concept for a first ever ‘Super Bowl’ commercial for the company. Ideas became actions, and soon each piece fell into place. The commercial was completely designed and executed in-house by Hurricane Productions’ own videographers, editors and actors.

Although it won’t air on TV, it will be promoted on Hurricane’s website and social media platforms.

The Wedding Planner” stars Kelly Goldhammer and Mark Shvartsman. Directed by Julia Crimi. Filmed by Alena Crescenzo, Strato Doumanis and Nick Nittoli. Edited by Strato Doumanis and Vincent Velasquez. A special thanks goes out to the Nittoli Family for their hospitality.

Atlantis Ballroom hosts Victoria’s Secret, pink Sweet 16

The Atlantis Ballroom is a beautiful space for any Sweet 16 or wedding. The modern decor, great dance floor area and attentive staff make it a perfect choice for a family celebrating a special day. Coupled with entertainment from Hurricane Productions, the Atlantis Ballroom ensures your event to be flawless.

Marissa and her family chose Atlantis Ballroom for her Victoria’s Secret themed Sweet 16. After searching venues in the area, Atlantis Ballroom had the most to offer and was supportive of each detail of Marissa’s event.

Hurricane Productions was the first and last stop for Marissa’s event. After finding them on Facebook, Marissa had to have great production, lighting and photography for her Sweet 16.

Hurricane Productions provided DJ entertainer Alvin Gay, emcee Robbie “Maserobbiee” Padovano, twin totem intelligent lighting, a custom “Name in Lights” gobo and professional photography for Marissa’s Sweet 16.

Marissa’s “Name in Lights” gobo reflected the Victoria’s Secret theme. Using fonts similar to the brand, the gobo shone on the wall to add extra character to the room. Marissa incorporated wings on the gobo to complete the angel feel.

Screens with a custom animation mimicked the “Name in Lights” gobo but also incorporated various shades of pink to match the theme. Hurricane Pulse streamed photos from guests instantly to screens using the hash tag #Marissa16.

A professional photographer exclusive to Hurricane Productions posed Marissa’s family and court to capture the specialty of the day. An online photo album allowed family and friends to get a sneak peak the photos.

Hurricane Productions provides Sweet 16 DJ entertainment, photography and lighting. To find out more information visit the website or call – 888.393.7066.

Autumn wedding at Preakness Hills Country Club features professional photography and video from Hurricane Productions

Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, NJ is a classic wedding venue that hosts traditional, sophisticated events. From the inside out, the facility is truly beautiful and unique. Vendor Hurricane Productions provides DJ entertainment, photography and video services for events at Preakness Hills Country Club.

Preakness Hills Country Club was Alyssa’s dream wedding venue and had to have her wedding there. She and Ryan, her fiance, fell in love with the look, the atmosphere and the food.

Ryan proposed to Alyssa at Rutgers Dance Marathon, an event that Hurricane Productions has been involved with for years. With the relationship already established, the newly engaged couple visited Hurricane to plan the details of the wedding.

Hurricane Productions provided DJ Entertainment, Hurricane Pulse and photography and video services for the wedding. Owners Vincent Velasquez and Strato Doumanis led the entertainment for the evening, providing a seamless experience for the couple.

With the hash tag #avrwedding, photos posted by guests through Hurricane Pulse instantly streamed to screens around the room.

Hurricane Productions photographers provided full day coverage for the couple. From bridal preparations to the last dance, each moment was captured by a team of professionals. Videographers documented the entire ceremony and created a full edit of the wedding as well as a highlight for the couple.

Hurricane Productions offers DJ Entertainment, design, photography and video services for weddings in New Jersey, New York, and throughout the East Coast. To find out more information please visit the website or call - 888.393.7066.