Opera singers, fire dancers and stilt walkers were all part of the taping of the fourth annual Frogs for the Cure video.
For this year’s video, organizers said they hoped to create a Cirque du Soleil feel by asking more than 2,500 volunteers to dance, strut and twirl in the background as 15 performers lip-synced to "Rise Up," a song by Green River Ordinance.
“It is a much, much harder thing than we have ever done,” Ann Louden, Frogs for the Cure chair, said.
“I wanted to really stretch us in terms of our ability to do something,” she said.
Louden said the video was “crazy, random and full of energy.”
In the last nine years, Frogs for the Cure has raised $200,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and continues to organize fundraisers to benefit the nonprofit organization, Louden said.
“It’s about education and awareness, and the dollars will follow,” she said.
Louden, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, said her personal journey involved music that couldn’t cure, but was able to help her heal.
“The music video format is the most powerful way to speak to this generation,” she said. “It’s a way to reach our hands out across campus and say this matters to all of us.”
“Rise Up” by Green River Ordinance was chosen for its powerful sense of inspiration, Louden said.
“We think about what message other people need to hear,” she said. “It’s in the lyrics. It’s in the melody. It’s in the power of conveying something emotionally you can’t convey in speech.”
Louden said there were many variables to consider in undertaking a project this big.
“Each time we have done this video during the last four years, I’ve started with this picture in my head about what I wanted, and then I worked the details until I could try to figure out how to make it happen,” she said. “I think people are going to be blown away by being able to see a lip-dub done like this.”
Louden said last year’s controversy involving funding for Planned Parenthood impacted Susan G. Komen for the Cure fundraising.
In 2012, Komen pulled breast exam funds from Planned Parenthood for political reasons, sparking a massive backlash.
“At the Frogs for the Cure program, the message has always been that Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the most effective leader in the fight against breast cancer,” she said. “Did funding get hurt last year across the board? Yes. Has it impacted what we’ve done at TCU? No.”
Alumna Victoria Reneau said she does not mind working late nights with the Frogs for the Cure committee because the cause is so close to her heart.
“Even when I’m exhausted, it’s exciting,” she said. “The passion that this organization has to bring an end to breast cancer is incredible.”
Alumna Ava Pine, who was one of the lip-synching performers in the video, said she faced the realities of cancer in high school as she watched the mother of her best friend battle against the disease.
“We all went through it together as a family,” she said. “That was a very early thing for us that we had to deal with.”
Pine said she wanted to participate in the video to honor the struggle her friend’s mother endured, and eventually lost.
“I think the best way to deal with the loss of someone you love is to keep their memory alive,” she said.
Joan Katz, co-founder of the Tarrant County Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate, is a three-time breast cancer survivor who has attended every Frogs for the Cure football game.
“As a survivor, it’s personal,” she said. “The football team is supported by the crowd and so are the survivors. They’re fighting to win a game, and we are fighting for our lives.”
Louden said cancer has impacted almost everyone’s life in some way and that in rising up together, we can inspire those with cancer to keep fighting.
“For me to be able to harness my hope and passion for giving back and have the TCU community do this with me – it is an incredibly empowering experience,” she said. “We are all in this together.”
The video will debut Nov. 2 during the TCU vs. West Virginia football game. Louden said students are encouraged to buy and wear this year’s “Rise Up” T-shirts to the game. T-shirts are available for $12 at the university bookstore, with $3 of the proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.