The American Diabetes Association is roping in A-list celebrities for a new campaign that seeks to raise awareness about the disease, following in the footsteps of the now-famous Ice Bucket Challenge.
In the Diabetes Dance Dare, the challenge is this: Post a video of yourself dancing to an inspirational song for 23 seconds, donate to the association, and then tag three friends to do the same. The video length is a way for the campaign to drive home a key statistic — someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes every 23 seconds.
The Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraising campaign for the ALS Association that went viral in 2014, featured participants getting drenched by a bucket of ice-cold water.
The challenge raked in a whopping $115 million in donations to the national chapter of the ALS Association that year, with another $13 million donated to regional branches. The year prior, donations totaled just $23.5 million. It’s now become an annual campaign, with the money raised going toward research, patient programs, and education.
The first taker of the Diabetes Dance Dare was celebrity chef and author Devin Alexander, but other celebs have quickly followed suit. Shaquille O’Neal posted an impressively entertaining, if a bit awkward, routine to Instagram as part of the dance dare.
He also challenged singer Usher to do the same. Usher — whose son, Usher V, has type 1 diabetes — didn’t waste any time in taking him up on the dare.
The American Diabetes Association says it has more celebrities lined up to kick up their heels for the campaign in the coming weeks.
Katherine Laing, the program manager of the University of Richmond’s Institute on Philanthropy, said a number of advocacy organizations have sought to develop their own versions of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
“There have been been some questions as to whether that’s something that can be replicated,” she said.
Laing said the brilliance of the Ice Bucket Challenge was that it was so easy to do, but she said she wasn’t sure the Diabetes Dance Dare can quite match it.
“When you sit down and count 23 seconds, it’s a long time, so it may not get as much traction as they want. Something that’s real quick and real easy would gain more traction. But I like the idea,” she said.
More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. An additional 86 million people have prediabetes, in which their blood sugar levels are elevated but not yet high enough to have them classified as diabetic.
Eric Boodman contributed to this story.