Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

Some people like to dance as a profession, Some people like to dance on tables, and some people like to dance in their underwear and sing into their hairbrush when no ones around. But since 1971, Rutgers University students have been dancing for a cause, and this year is no different. Rutgers University Dance Marathon (commonly known as RUDM) has a simple slogan: for the kids. For the past 12 years, Rutgers has actively been raising millions of dollars to support the Embrace the Kids Foundation, which supports families of children with cancers and blood disorders.

But how does a group of students alone raise over 1.9 million dollars just by dancing? For Denur Novick, who is dancing for Theta Delta Chi,it’s all about focus and determination for thirty six hours of non-stop dancing. “The feeling of standing on my feet for 32-hours does not really hit you until the next day. Knowing the change you’re making in a child’s life completely masks the discomfort of standing for so long,” Novick said. You heard right, ladies,it is required is that you stand on your feet 32 hours. But the committee and chairs for RUDM know this is a hard “feet” and try to make it as fun as possible for the mini philanthropists. Along with dancing during the day, the members of RUDM also get involved in “Club DM”, a night time dance party that encourages the public to come into the gym where dance marathon is held and, not only support their peers, but to donate anything they can. “Last year, I couldn’t even get into [Club DM]. I went five minutes late and they were already packed,” Sophomore Vanessa Balzano said.

It’s not hard to be involved in RUDM. Besides becoming a dancer, their are four other positions you can apply for in the fall before RUDM-director, assistant director, captain, and committee member. Each of these positions has its own set of functions different than the next. “Five years ago I walked into DM not knowing what it was about and fell in love. When I saw the kids and families, then the total being raised the only thing I could do was cry, it was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen college kids participate in,” said Kari Bagniewski, assistant director and dancer for her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. Since its founding in 1971 by ZBT fraternity, it has been a staple in Greek life for the  sororities and fraternities on campus to participate. Each year, hundreds of Greeks on campus volunteer to dance if they’re not already required to do so. Jack Marcus, sophomore, first year dancer, and now brother of Delta Chi, loves the cause and thinks that every Greek needs to look into getting involved as part of their promise to their community. “I saw the dedication that my fraternity brothers devoted to RUDM last year and I thought it was just such a good cause. This year, I wanted to mimic the hard work and all that dedication by doing it myself. It makes me really proud to be part of the Delta Chi community,” Marcus said. If you’re looking for ways to donate to a certain dancer, it’s only a click away. Each dancer much reach a donation goal of 320 dollars in order to participate in RUDM. Each dancer also has a personal website you can use to donate to their cause. Other than that, you can also write a personal check to a certain dancer, or make a general donation to RUDM. “Dance Marathon has changed my life in so many ways and through the past 4 years has helped form me into the person I am today. I encourage any one to go visit the marathon at the College Ave gym, April 2nd and 3rd to experience a little bit of the magic that occurs in those 32 hours”, Bagniewski says about the marathon and her new found love for children, not only with cancer, but everywhere. RUDM will be held in the College Avenue Gym on April second and third. All of us here at Hercampus.com wish the dancers good luck and happy dancing!