Ah, the Dance Marathon lockdown. During Blocks 3 & 4, from 1-7 a.m., no outside visitors are allowed in the tent or Norris, meaning it’s just dancers … and NBN. I took advantage of this privacy to get some of the hottest DM gossip, fresh from my sources. And I’ve compiled it for you, dear reader.

One of my sources said multiple of her friends have already escaped the tent. One just walked out, she told me, but then she divulged more: “I do know someone else who left,” she added. “He took a press pass and just walked out.” Less than an hour later, I saw my source again – on the way out of the tent herself.

When I asked a source on an unnamed DM committee what she’d seen so far, she pulled me away from the crowd to share some drama about the oranges meant to be Block 2’s snack. “They were moldy!” she exclaimed. “So we had to give out pomelos instead.” That led to some freaky events in the tent: She told me she saw a dancer eat the pomelo’s skin. As I’m writing this, I see some food committee members wheeling out a tub of cut oranges. I can only hope they cut around the mold.

One source tells me that DM has brought out some of campus’ finest. “All of the hot people are coming out of the woodwork!” she declares. I’m struggling to see it – the men seem like the frat quad’s same boring regulars, just wearing ill-fitting basketball jerseys.

In the ground floor men’s bathroom, I overheard a group of men in the stalls having a conversation. (That, by itself, ought to be gossip.) One of them found out it was their foot massage time, to which another replied, “Bro, thank God I haven’t cut my toenails in about four months. They’re about to get …” and trailed off. Thankfully – not even this muckraking gossip columnist wanted to hear that.

I had to go back into the tent when they brought in those orange slices. Dancers seemed to appreciate them, including the three I saw take a selfie with orange peels covering their teeth. But I got ahold of one, and I owe my readers nothing less than the truth: It was pretty bland for an orange. Food committee members did have buckets for dancers to compost their orange peels, so props to DM for making some good out of an allegedly rotten situation.

Between Blocks 3 & 4, I overheard a meeting of a committee whose name I’ll withhold, and it sounds like everyone’s spirits are falling. “The tunnel needs to be more hype,” a member told them. “The dancers are not going to give us the hype.” (Not wrong.) After the meeting broke, I heard a committee member express some hope. “This is definitely a turn block, I think,” he told a few colleagues. I do admire his optimism, and can only wish he’ll be right.

I try not to dabble in hearsay, but some things are too good to keep secret. A source made his way out of the tent to tell me that a committee member allegedly found two people “fornicating” on the third floor. I wouldn’t be surprised, since anything goes during lockdown. And if it’s true – if – I hope it was worth it for the couple involved.

I spoke with a source as she walked to the bathroom, and she told me she’s seen some dancer juuling in the tent. “Oooh,” she joked. I agree that juuling is about the least rebellious thing to do at DM, and I also can’t imagine it helps with 30 hours of dancing. “We like, mind our own business,” she added as she walked away, explaining why her friend group didn’t have better gossip. It didn’t seem like that, though, when she found me in the tent later and tried to persuade a friend to share his own gossip with me. (He didn’t, and that’s his loss.)

Toward the end of Block 4, my editor told me she walked past a box of moldy oranges on the Norris Ground Floor. I had to look for myself, and sure enough, I found a box filled with green, fuzzy orange peels hiding behind a pillar. I can’t tell you exactly where, though – I try to maintain some level of standards, after all.

As the sun rose and the lockdown came to an end, so finished my investigating. I find myself remembering something from the beginning of my reporting adventure, when a dancer tried to insist I wasn’t legitimately part of the press. But he later approached me with gossip he just had to share – perhaps the best example of how quickly things can change inside the tent. I hope I’ve been able to shed a light on that world for you.

To follow along with our 30-hour Dance Marathon 2019 coverage, check out our other stories here: http://alpha.northbynorthwestern.com/tag/dm-2019/