EVANSTON—Robert Aban, a Weinberg senior from Baragoi, Kenya, surprised absolutely no one when he emerged victorious at Dance Marathon, which, as always, was held at Northwestern University the first week in March. Aban was able to establish a solid pace and never let up from start to finish, winning his third consecutive Dance Marathon.
“It is a great honor for my country,” a barely winded Aban said after the Marathon ended, “Kenya has a great tradition of Dance Marathoners, ever since Abebe Bikila won the first ever Dance Marathon in his bare feet. I am glad that I can add my name to that tradition.”
Aban completed DM in 30 hours, tying his own personal mark of 30 hours, and also tying the world record of 30 hours. Though he was only in 3rd place after Block 5, he was able to keep up a steady pace and pass McCormick sophomore Mahmoud Tannouz of Rabat, Morocco to take the lead during Block 8. After that, Aban never looked back and pulled away from the field.
Other DM participants were not surprised with Aban’s victory. “Yep, Robert won again,” said disappointed Medill junior Sam Jenkins, “That guy has won every year I’ve been here. It must be in his genes or something. After all, the whole group of kids from Ethiopia and Kenya never stopped dancing. I looked over during Block 9, and they were still going like DM had just started. It’s insane.”
Kenya is known for its long distance runners; its dancers do not receive that much media attention. “When I was a kid,” explains Aban, “most of my friends ran to and from school. I danced. I guess I was a little different.”
Northwestern’s attention turns now to the Dance 100-Meter Dash, which will be held the first weekend of May on the lakefill. Weinberg junior George Sinclair, from Kingston, Jamaica, is the favorite to win.