As a high school student Benjamin Craig's motto was, "Here's my plate, load it on." He brought that mentality with him to Emmanuel, where he has always been ready to take on a new opportunity.
Six couples vied for the mirror ball trophy in last night’s sixth annual EC Dancing with the Stars, with Korey Rodecker ’19 and Vice President of College Relations and Director of the Centennial Molly DiLorenzo taking home the overall title for their Western-meets-Broadway (“West-Broad”) routine.
I feel extremely lucky to have been part of this,” said Rodecker of the event, which pairs a student dancer with a member of the faculty or staff. “Molly and I are very excited and grateful for being chosen as the winners, especially considering the level of competition we had—all of the dances were fantastic and very fun to watch. But I have to say I am the most grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by so many hardworking and passionate individuals with a common goal.”
The event benefits Emmanuel's seventh annual Dance Marathon, a nationwide movement that raises money for hospitals in the Children's Miracle Network. Earlier this year, Emmanuel College Dance Marathon (ECDM) reached a major fundraising milestone of $500,000 (total raised since 2012). Emmanuel’s program is currently ranked the #1 Dance Marathon fundraiser in Boston and is in the top five in New England. Nationwide, ECDM places in the top 20 for schools with fewer than 12,000 undergraduate students.
“All of the participants, the ECDM board, as well as everyone who came and/or supported in other ways all contributed to this success,” Rodecker added. “And together we helped raise a lot of money for Boston Children's Hospital. So to be a part of that effort was an amazing experience overall, and everyone involved should feel very proud!"
“Participating in EC Dancing with the Stars was such an amazing experience and I cannot thank my partner, Korey, and our choreographer, Mikayla, enough,” said DiLorenzo. “I have been absolutely blown away by the effort the students put into not only this event but all of the fundraising efforts related to EC Dance Marathon. Witnessing first-hand the passion, generosity and drive of our students has been the most rewarding part–winning is just icing on the cake!”
Joseph Tolson ’21 and Assistant Director of Admissions Campus Visits and Events Coordinator Nicole Mollica won the "Fan Favorite" competition by raising more than $1,000, the highest total of all couples competing.
The other couples who competed were Victoria Harding '20 and program coordinator for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion Staisha Stephens-Brown; Abbie White ’21 and assistant professor of philosophy Ryan Mott; Jenny Judge '19 and campus minister for retreats and spirituality Karl LaClair; and Tanner Rogers ’18 and mathematics lecturer Heather Pierce.
Last year’s winning couple Julia Shapiro ’20 and Assistant Director of Residence Life & Resident Director of St. Joseph Hall Mark DaRocha served as two of the four judges for the evening and presented Rodecker and DiLorenzo their mirrorball. The other judges were members of EC Royalty, Samantha Tingue ’18 and Francesca Battiato ’19.