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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

There is a movement that is about to take over the University of South Carolina by storm, and it’s one that is going to make you want to get up and dance…literally. USC will be hosting its 15th annual Dance Marathon (DM), the largest student-run philanthropic event on campus, on Mar. 1st-2nd, and the university is buzzing with excitement. To date, this event has raised over $1 million for Palmetto Heath Children’s Hospital; but this amazing accomplishment couldn’t have been possible without the help of the many hard working, dedicated students that make this 24-hour event so unforgettable.

One of these students in particular is being highlighted today: Taylor Dietrich. When she’s not studying Public Health and Business Administration or interning with the Children’s Hospital Development Team at the Palmetto Health Foundation, you can find her leading a team of more than 100 USC students who all share a familiar passion for this event. Taylor has been named the Overall Director of Dance Marathon 2014, and couldn’t be more ecstatic for its arrival.

Taylor’s initial desire to join DM stemmed from the fact that she wanted to help raise money for sick children, and be able to do so while dancing and having fun with her friends. Little did she know how mentally and physically exhausting the event would turn out to be. “It’s challenging,” “The night will be long,” and  “You’re going to be tired and miserable” were just some of the warnings thrown at her, but they didn’t stop her from dancing all night. Instead, she focused on what she described as the “feeling of accomplishment and self worth that outweighed all those obstacles” to get her through the long hours.

Since participating in that first DM, Taylor has been hooked. Now, 4 years later, she is still as passionate and excited about the event as the first time she took part in the fundraiser. It’s evident in the way that she speaks about DM just how important it is to her. She explained, “I will never forget the emotional rush that came over myself and the entire event when the total money raised was revealed at the end of the 24 hours. USCDM opened up my life to a world of selflessness, inspiration and the true impact as an individual that I can have. If you have never experienced a Dance Marathon before, you do not know what you are missing out on, being a miracle maker is a powerful yet humbling experience.”

When asked about her position in USCDM, Taylor opened up about the ups and downs of being Overall Director. She confessed that it’s not all fun and games, but that’s just paying the price of “hoping to make a significant impact.” We think it’s definitely a price well worth it. As Director, Taylor’s job description is broad, but it mainly consists of working closely with passionate people, like herself, all year to create a great event that will attract volunteers, but that will also stay grounded in the original mission of DM: raising awareness, support, and funds for the local Children’s Miracle Network. The most impactful part of USCDM for her? That it’s all local. Students who run and participate in DM give back to the local community, and are able to see exactly where all of their hard work and efforts go to: the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

So what’s Taylor’s favorite part about USCDM? She answered, “Being in Strom Thurmond Wellness Center with more than 800 other students for 24 hours, united in fight for a lifetime of hope and happiness is an empowering feeling that could never be measured. What Dance Marathon asks of us is a huge self-sacrifice at a time in our lives that is supposed to be the most selfish.” 

There is something to be said about the people who choose to take part in USCDM; especially college students, since this is “their time” in life, and yet they’re choosing to take time to think about the kids, and how much they can help. Individuals like Taylor Dietrich especially need to be recognized more often for their selfless and inspirational work. When it comes to why she dances FTK, Taylor refered back to someone who truly understands the beauty of charity, Ghandi, who once said, “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Taylor said that her time serving on the USCDM committee has not only been humbly rewarding, but has “fulfilled all aspects of ways I hope to give back to the world, with the upmost gracious reward of making miracles for the kids.”

Taylor looks forward to the day she can title herself as a USCDM Alumni and carry on the pride being a forever member of such an extraordinary organization. Already, she has proven herself to be an incredible role model for every student at South Carolina, and we proudly support both her and DM’s mission. We thank you, Taylor, for taking the incentive to help out these children, and we know that they, and their families, thank you as well. FTK every day!


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Gillian Kerner

South Carolina

Sophomore at the real USC (go cocks). Media Arts/Advertising Major. I like pretending I'm a southerner (shoutout to the 203), leftovers and getting favorites on my tweets. Yeah, I said what you secretly think.
I'm energetic, outgoing and loud full time student at USC with a keen interest in Broadcast Journalism and all things NBA