Our History

Wake ‘N Shake is Wake Forest University’s largest student-run philanthropy event. This is a pm update.

Wake 'N Shake 2021

Wake 'N Shake 2021

Wake 'N Shake Dance Marathon 2021. 16th annual event raising funding for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund at Wake Forest Baptist Health.

2020 | Wild for the Cure

2020 | Wild for the Cure

Over 1,000 Dancers, $383,550 Raised

On April 4th, 2020, students, faculty, alumni, and community members tuned into the Wake ‘N Shake Instagram and Facebook to participate in the first fully virtual event in Wake ‘N Shake’s history. Dancers participated in multiple social media challenges over the course of 12 hours including trick shots, tik tok dances, virtual bingo boards, and standing while you eat dinner. At 7:00 pm, Wake ‘N Shake Facebook live-streamed a pre-recorded version of the traditional final hour. Viewers heard from our final champion and watched glow stick presentations from the previous year. Despite being fully virtual, Wake ‘N Shake 2020 was able to unite individuals in different states, countries, and continents in the fight against cancer.

2019 | The Greatest Cause on Earth

2019 | The Greatest Cause on Earth

Over 1,400 dancers, $431,170 raised

On March 23rd, 2019, over 1,400 students danced for 12 hours to take part in the fight against cancer. Cumulatively, through student efforts and corporate sponsorships, the event had a record breaking year raising over $431,000 dollars for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund. The gym was decorated with circus decorations to tie in the year’s theme “The Greatest Cause on Earth”.

2018 | Dancing through the Decades

2018 | Dancing through the Decades

Over 1,500 dancers, $391,498 raised

On March 24th, 2018, over 1,500 students gathered in the Sutton Center to raise over $391,000. This event marked the thirteenth annual Wake N Shake. A new addition to the event was the “Champions Circle”; a space where champions were able to gather with each other and engage with students.

2017 | Grammy's

2017 | Grammy's

Over 1,400 dancers, $362,647 raised

The twelfth annual Wake N’ Shake was celebrated on March 18th, 2017. Over 1,400 students gathered from noon to midnight to take a stand against cancer and raise funds for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund. This event was the first year the event was held in the new Sutton Center. The gym was decorated with Grammy’s themed decorations where students danced the night away and participated in activities such as Zumba.

2016 | Pixar

2016 | Pixar

1,300 dancers, $306,257 raised

The eleventh annual Wake 'N Shake was held on March 19th, 2016. Students came together for 12-hours to raise funds and awareness about cancer and the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund. During the event, students listened to inspirational speeches from those who have been impacted by cancer in the community. The event raised $306,257.

2015 | X Out Cancer

2015 | X Out Cancer

Over 1,300 dancers, $200,040 raised

On March 21, 2015 from noon to midnight, over 1,300 students were on their feet dancing and taking a stand against cancer. It was Wake ‘N Shake’s 10th Anniversary, and the event was a huge celebration of how much Wake ‘N Shake has grown over the past 10 years. The gym looked a little different than in years past. The lights were off and the stage ran along a different wall, but the same excitement, energy, and love for Wake ‘N Shake remained present throughout the entire 12-hours. During the day and night, students listened to inspiring speeches from each of the ten “Team Champions,” and at the end of the night, heard a moving testimonial from cancer survivor and Wake Forest senior, David Edwards. In between speakers, students danced with Zumba and Body Combat instructors, learned the tango and how to swing dance, and danced with glowsticks during the “Rave Hour.” Finally, at the end of the night, students celebrated with the day’s fundraising total of $164,157!

2014 | Superheroes

2014 | Superheroes

1,350 dancers, $182,056 raised

The ninth annual Wake ‘N Shake was held on March 22, 2014. In total, 1,350 dancers came together to raise over $182,056.00 for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund. Our theme was “Superheroes” and dancers were divided into one of six teams: Batman, Captain America, the Flash, Green Lantern, Ironman, and Spiderman.

2013 | Tackling Cancer

2013 | Tackling Cancer

1,300 dancers, $125,722 raised

The eighth annual Wake ‘N Shake was held on March 23, 2013. It was a great success, a special motivation, and a wonderful memory for many students. Over 1,300 students participated throughout the day, and there were nearly 400 students on their feet for 12 hours. The dancing, game playing, group singing, team competitions, cancer survivor testimonies, pep talks from Coach Grobe and Provost Kersh and much more kept us going strong until 12 midnight. The closing ceremony was a fun and powerful experience for all who stayed until the end. And one of the many miracles from Wake ‘N Shake was that over $125,700 was raised for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund to find a cure for this terrible disease. In total, 1,302 dancers participated and the event raised $146,419.55. The theme was “NFL” and our dancers were divided into six teams: Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Washington Redskins.

2012 | Oh, The Places We’ll Go

2012 | Oh, The Places We’ll Go

1,050 dancers, $110,000 raised

The seventh annual Wake ‘N Shake was held on March 24, 2012. In total, over 1,050 dancers participated and the event raised $110,000. The theme was “Dr. Seuss” and our dancers were divided into six teams based on his most popular characters: Cat in the Hat, Horton, Grinch, Lorax, Sam I Am, and Sneetches.