The CHEO-supporting Ottawa Dance Marathon 2015 was kick-started on Jan. 15 in The Observatory with a less-than-expected turnout of just 15 people.

Students danced in snug neon clothing and “Too Legit To Sit” T-shirts at the Tight and Bright Dance Marathon in support of the local Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The event, preceding the Ottawa Dance Marathon on Jan. 30, was projected to have 100 attendees, but fell short.

However, Chris Kolberg, spokesperson for the Algonquin Dance Marathon Club, was not unhappy.

“It’s all a learning experience,” said Kolberg, 23, a cabinetmaking and furniture technician student, as well as a graduate of Algonquin.

Kolberg said the marathon was focused on getting students involved and aware of the Dance Marathon event on Jan. 30. The mission of the dance marathon is to raise money and awareness in the fight against childhood diseases. The marathon uses the slogan “Dance For Those Who Can’t!”

“At this point,” said Kolberg. “I think it’s more about awareness than the money. There’s become a community sense of caring and it makes events personal.”

According to Kolberg, dance marathons were popular in the 1930s as a leisure activity. Now, there are more than 300 schools across North America participating in dance marathon events that raise money for local hospitals in the Children’s Miracle Network.

Dipesh Singh, 20, a second-year computer programming student at Algonquin, is also part of the Algonquin Dance Marathon Club. Singh said one incorporated promotion with the Ottawa Dance Marathon this year allows participants the chance to win two tickets to any DVBBS concert. DVBBS is a popular Canadian dance music duo.

DJs Dan Fortin, Frederic Sharp and Mayro provided music for the Tight and Bright Dance Marathon.

Sarah Welch, 20, and Michaela Schruder-Tate, 19, both paralegal students at Algonquin, attended the event.

“CHEO helped me a lot when I was younger,” said Welch.

Schruder-Tate and Welch heard about the Tight and Bright Dance Marathon from colleagues in the paralegal program helping with the fundraiser.

“It’s a disappointing turn out,” said Schruder-Tate. “There wasn’t as much advertisement.”

The Ottawa Dance Marathon will be held at the Liquor Store Party Bar and Green Room on 128 York St. The 18-plus event is set from 4 to 10 p.m. Registration for the event is available online at