Whenever people ask me what I’m involved with on campus, my immediate response, without hesitation, is Dance Marathon. While Dance Marathon—or dM—isn’t the only thing I’m involved in, it is the activity I could probably talk about for days if I had to.
For those who don’t know what dM is, here’s the down low: 15 hours, on your feet, dancing, all for the kids, or #FTK. Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy here at Iowa State and is an event that takes place at over 150 other schools around the United States.
For one day, Iowa State students drop what they are doing and stand for 15 hours doing different activities and learning a “Morale Dance,” which is performed every hour on the hour. This day was one of my favorite days of my freshman year and the “Miracle Children” the money is raised for say the event is, “better than Christmas.”
This past weekend I got to spend a day with my committee, the Recruitment and Morale (R&M) committee, visiting the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. This hospital is directly affected by ISU’s dM, and the money raised from dancers goes straight to the hospital.
R&M is in charge of recruiting dancers for the event and keeping morale and spirits up of dancers and other committee members. I knew a good amount of members on R&M before this retreat but after spending 24 hours with them, I learned so much more about my committee than I ever imagined I could. If I got anything out of last weekend it’s that I have so much to be inspired by when it comes to why I stand for 15 hours, besides for the children.
Even though I’m only in my third semester of college, I have no doubt that Dance Marathon is going to be a huge part of my college career. If I had to give one piece of advice to any student on campus when it came to dM, it would be to actually do it. Even if it’s only just once, even if they’re worried about raising the money, just do it.
The look in the families’ eyes, the tears of joy and the feeling of accomplishment after knowing how much money is raised after 15 hours of standing is a feeling that everyone should experience at least once.
This week, Sept. 30 through Oct. 4, is Miracle Week for dM—this week is devoted to morale and registering dancers for Dance Marathon. So I have a challenge for everyone this week: if you see someone wearing a teal dM shirt or a group of teal shirts together, go ask them why they stand and hear how inspiring dM is for everyone involved—don’t just take it from me.
You might be surprised by a reason and it might motivate you to register and become part of something bigger than you, and even bigger than Iowa State University. #FTK all dMDay!