If we were to say, right here and right now, that Los Angeles is forever the center of long-form dance, we've no doubt that we'd stir up some controversy.
Multi-hour dance-a-thons were a phenomenon that spread throughout the country, and world, back in the early and middle of the 20th century. Teenagers often coupled up for hours on end, swaying to see who would be king and queen. (And we do mean hours and hours and hours.)
And mega dance-a-thons definitely had their day here in SoCal, at some of our pier pavilions, and in our movies, too ("They Shoot Horses, Don't They" being a prime example). If our city is not the center of that particular universe, we're one of the stars in its constellation.
But there are a few remaining examples of multi-hour dancing, all notable for the causes they support.
A major one is up on Sunday, Jan. 27. It's Lights. Camera. Cure. The Hollywood Dance-A-Thon, it's headed for Avalon Hollywood, and it is a mere six-hour keep-it-movin' marathon. We say "mere" with tongue in cheek, of course; that's a long time to dance, but the cause is so important: Taking on pediatric cancer, and supporting those families and medical professionals waging the fight. Four Diamonds Fund is the beneficiary.
And, in less than a month, there's another way to send money to a bunch of dancers raising funds, this time for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. UCLA will hold its annual Dance Marathon, where students attempt to shake their stuff for 26 hours.
Twenty. Six. Hours. That was worth typing again, for sure. Noble and major efforts, indeed.