15 Reasons Why Rutgers Dance Marathon is Awesome

#RUDM2017 Same-Day Edit of a record-breaking marathon

Thank you to everyone who helped us break records at #RUDM2017! Here is the Same-Day Edit video produced by Hurricane Productions.

Posted by Rutgers Dance Marathon on Sunday, April 2, 2017

Rutgers Dance Marathon is genuinely beautiful. College students abandon their usual habits to dance for an entire weekend in honor of children with cancer and blood disorders. If that's not heartwarming, we don't know what is.

Rutgers Dance Marathon is a 32-hour event (held in the College Avenue Gym in New Brunswick, NJ) where Rutgers students stay awake and on their feet to raise money for Embrace Kids Foundation. Embrace Kids is a charity that raises money for the non-medical needs of families with children with cancer or blood disorders.

Hurricane Productions has been involved with Rutgers Dance Marathon for the past seven years. During that time we've picked up on certain things that make it awesome. And in honor of Rutgers Dance Marathon's 15th anniversary, we are going to share the top 15 reasons with you.

Rutgers DM students

15. It's a year long event - Though the Marathon itself is only 32 hours, students plan and fundraising for an entire year in preparation for one short weekend. The day after DM the Board of Directors and Central Planning Team sit down to congratulate themselves then quickly move on to review the weekend and begin improvements for the next year.

14. It's completely student run - DM is a huge event - Not just a couple hundred students but several thousand students. And from top to bottom, this team of students has organized Dance Marathon entirely on its own. We're talking everything from booking entertainment to seeking out sponsors to scheduling the entire 32 hours. That's impressive.

Student Organizations participate in Rutgers University Dance Marathon

13. The Organizations - There's a common misconception that Rutgers Dance Marathon is an all Greek event. Organizations like the Catholic Students Association, Carpe DM and Douglass Residential College make DM possible. Greek and non-Greek organizations hold bake sales, coffee houses and other events all year to raise money for the Marathon.

Rutgers Dance Marathon Student Dancers

12. The Dancers - Let's be honest... the general public perceives college students as sometimes reckless and unprepared for the 'real world.' Everything about DM proves that audience wrong. Not many people would commit to stay awake and on their feet for 32-hours, but these students willingly do. And they do so with a smile. Not only that, they do it for a cause that directly makes a difference in the lives of children and their families. Nothing is more real than that.

11. The Total - Since its beginning in 1999, Rutgers Dance Marathon has raised over three million dollars FTK (for the kids). Each year students rally to raise more funds than the previous year, all in hopes of continuing the DM legacy. No one knows what the total is before it's raised, so as the Dance Marathon Central Planning Team (CPT) reveals the total to the audience, DM alumni raise the total in the upstairs balcony of the College Ave Gymnasium. So the CPT gets to share in the same moment of surprise and joy as everyone else in the gym.

Magic 98.3 Radio-Thon

10. Magic 98.3 Radio-Thon - Each year, Magic 98.3 sets up camp in the College Ave Gym. The team does live interviews of students and families to raise money and awareness for Rutgers Dance Marathon. Interviews with people like Glenn Jenkins the Executive Director of Embrace Kids Foundation (seen above) give a voice to the cause.

Coach Kyle Flood Rutgers

9. The Guests - When influential people like Coach Kyle Flood, head of the Rutgers Football Team, or Eric LeGrand come to congratulate, motivate and applaud the students for their efforts, there is no better feeling. Coach Flood comes in the early hours on Sunday morning when the going gets tough. He takes time to recognize and motivate students to get them through the end.

8. The Line Dance - Every year DM students choreograph and develop a line dance for all the dancers to learn. The line dance has evolved from a simple slideshow to an iconic, visual centerpiece of Dance Marathon.

The verdict rutgers dance marathon

7. The Bands - The Marathon doesn't require the dancers to actually dance the entire time, but to simply remain on their feet. Live bands, like the popular Jimmy and the Parrots and The Verdict come to keep the dancers rockin' and help maintain motivation 'til the very end.

6. Club DM - Between the hours of midnight and 3AM Dance Marathon weekend, the College Ave Gym opens up to Rutgers students as an enormous nightclub. Hurricane Productions provides DJ entertainment, and for a small fee, Rutgers students can enter. Thousands of students participate, and all proceeds benefit Rutgers Dance Marathon.

5. Embrace Kids Foundation - In the past DM, like many other Marathons around the country, used to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. Embrace Kids approached DM and gave them the option to raise money for their charity. Why? Because the children they impact are right in New Brunswick. And at the end of the day, students can see exactly what, and who, their efforts support. Embrace Kids Foundation is located right in New Brunswick and works with the Children's Specialized Hospital at Robert Wood. The fact that Embrace Kids is a community leads us to our next point...

rutgers dance marathon ru4kids 3

4. RU4Kids Program - Embrace Kids Foundation works with Dance Marathon to match student organization with families. Students are able to make a personal connection with the kids and their families by visiting them in the hospital. It's the reason the students come back each year - they have someone to dance for.

Family Hour Rutgers university dance marathon

3. Family Hour It starts at hour 28 of the 32 hour event. Just when dancers' feet are hurting and the energy is running low, patients and their families come to the gym to support play games, share a meal and support their organizations. The result is a teary hour or two, with speeches from the parents and patients thanking the students for doing what they do.

Rutgers University Dance Marathon the Families Embrace Kids Foundation

2. The Families - When a child is diagnosed with cancer, they are not the only person affected. The parents and siblings of these children are tremendously strong, dealing with the emotional, physical and monetary toll that the illness has on everyone.

Rutgers dance Marathon the Kids

1. The Kids - They're the reason why a full gym is completely silent the moment before the total is raised, and booming the moment after. These children are resilient and brave. The hardships others have don't even compare to what these kids endure at such a young age. The treatments they go through aren't easy - screaming, yelling and tears often accompany them. But an hour later, a graceful smile passes on their face as they play a game with their siblings, parents, or better yet, their RU4Kids organization. They are the reason why Dance Marathon thrives.

These 15 reasons are just a sample of many that make Rutgers Dance Marathon so beautiful. If you want to learn more about Rutgers Dance Marathon and Embrace Kids Foundation, visit www.marathon.rutgers.edu or www.embracekids.org.

@hurricaneproductions reaches over 10k Instagram Followers

This map shows the reach of Hurricane's Instagram followers.
This map shows the reach of Hurricane's Instagram followers.

Follow Hurricane Productions on Instagram

Hurricane Productions is visual. And despite its strong presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is where Hurricane Productions really found its niche.

With over 10,000 followers and counting all over the world, Hurricane Productions is a major player on a platform that boasts over 100 million active users.

"For me, exploring Instagram has confirmed something I always thought to be true about human nature,” said Hurricane co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Strato Doumanis. “We are visual beings and hold visuals in higher regard than any other form of media or communication."

A recent study released by Simply Measured showed that 54-percent of top brands use Instagram with 41% of those brands posting at least one photo per week to their feeds.

Hurricane doesn’t just post photos for selfish promotion. The company encourages recruitment and collaboration with other creative people.

"Exposing the right visuals to the right people has created more connections for us as a company than any other social media platform," said Doumanis.

Hurricane's Instagram following is larger than most newspapers and media outlets around the country. It even surpasses name brands like Pepsi Max and Jaguar.

Hurricane monetizes its Instagram following via its "Hurricane Pulse" concept.

Available in the corporate and private event market, Pulse capitalizes on using unique hashtags to stream photos live to video boards/screens as well as print photos as favors.

In short, its an edgy and modern approach to a traditional photo booth.

To follow Hurricane on Instagram, visit Instagram.com/HurricaneProductions

Hurricane Productions offers financing for clients

Clients want convenience. But they also want security, reliability and flexibility.

That's why Hurricane Productions recently partnered with the popular 'Bill Me Later' service through PayPal.

'Bill Me Later' offers clients flexible financing options for all Hurricane Productions' services.

"This makes creating a special event easier for our clients," said Hurricane co-founder and CEO Vincent Velasquez. "Since day one I've told every client that we want to work with them, no matter their budget. This is another step in offering more services to a broader audience of people."

'Bill Me Later' offers up to six months of financing with no interest or additional cost for qualified applicants.

Hurricane offers all clients the ability to plan their event online and also pay online. Plus, the company accepts all major credit and debit cards.

"People like to feel secure when it comes to important purchases," Velasquez said. "We find more and more that clients shy away from cash or personal checks as a payment method."

For more information, visit HurricaneProductions.com

About Bill Me Later:
Bill Me Later is a PayPal service that lets you buy now and pay later. Think of it as a secure, instant, and reusable credit line without the plastic. Bill Me Later is available as a payment option at thousands of online stores and once added to your PayPal account, it can be used almost everywhere PayPal is accepted.
Bill Me Later is subject to credit approval and offered by WebBank, Salt Lake City, Utah.

About Hurricane Productions:
Hurricane Productions is an integrated media organization and a recognized leader in social media. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content to live and online audiences. DJ entertainment, multimedia and web solutions are Hurricane’s principal creative content and production activities. The company is headquartered in Red Bank, NJ.

Three Reasons why using "Super Sweet 16" in marketing is stupid

Sweet Sixteen

We offer arguably one of the most premier Sweet 16 experiences in the Northeast. And not once have we used the phrase “Super Sweet 16” in our marketing campaigns.

Our page rank on Google is one of the best for content related to Sweet 16s and again...never used the phrase.

We’re not saying we’re better than you. Maybe a little more creative.

But please, we beg you, stop using 'Super' because its 2013 and you’re simply making this industry look bad. (Also see: outdated, cheesy, corny)

Here are three reasons why your ad campaign for a 'Super Sweet 16' is just plain stupid:

3. When’s the last time you heard a 16-year old use the word ‘Super’?

Aside from the Super Bowl, the word isn’t cool. Better yet, it’s not relevant. So stop.

2. Setting yourself up for a failed sale

How many times do you hear a client say, “I’m interested in a Sweet 16 for my daughter but I’m not looking to have one of those ‘Super Sweet 16s.’

Maybe you don’t want to admit this. But sit down and take a deep breath - the majority of your clientele is middle class.

Just because you include uplighting or TV screens in your entertainment packages doesn’t justify calling it a ‘Super’ Sweet 16.

But don't worry, you can still offer your 'premium services.' No reason to call it Super.

The definition of a ‘Super Sweet 16,’ as presented by MTV includes beyond extravagent decor (your uplighting doesn’t qualify), celebrity appearances/performances (such as Chris Brown and Sean Kingston) and surprises like a luxury sports car waiting at valet.

That brings us to our next point...

1. MTV owns the trademark and created the phrase

It’s one thing to promote pop culture in your product or tie it into what you do. It’s another thing to completely rip off a brand name created by a media conglomerate. (By the way, the show premiered EIGHT years ago).

Talk about lazy, uncreative and flat out boring.

Now...go ahead...wipe your brow and start thinking.

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