The Big Buddy Program was established in 1979 as an LSU student’s service-learning project. The then program which started with a small group of students mentoring at Roosevelt Terrace Housing Development has evolved into a premier youth mentoring program serving over 1,400 through several community-based initiatives.
Dancing for Big Buddy serves as a major fundraiser accounting for 10% of the yearly program operations budget. In response to Covid-19, Dancing for Big Buddy along with their other spring fundraising events were canceled. This forced the organization to be innovative to ensure funding impacting youth learning experiences from grade school to graduation.
The 14th Dancing for Big Buddy scheduled to take place at LSU-PMAC went to the virtual platform! In the virtual space, they established a virtual dance-off in partnership with Athletes for Hope with hopes of creating more excitement around the event.
Six teams from LSU and Southern participated in the virtual dance-off—LSU Softball, LSU Gymnastics, LSU Soccer, Southern Baseball, Southern Football, and Southern Softball. Teams learned choreography, showed off their moves and raised $900 for Big Buddy from fan votes. With the most votes, Southern University Baseball won the dance-off and a tailgate platter for the entire team from sponsor, Raising Canes.
“Dancing with Big Buddy was so much fun! From learning the dance to teaching my teammates, it was truly a bonding experience for us for a great cause. I hope one day once the pandemic is over we can actually dance with the little buddies in person!”-Aubrion James, Southern Softball
“Dancing with Big Buddy was a great experience for me. It was a creative way to do community service during these times. I learned that memorizing a choreographed dance is a lot harder than it looks but it sure was fun! Props to all the real dancers out there! “ -Courtney Henderson, LSU Soccer
Watch the Dance-Off: