When people use the phrase “dancing the night away,” one does not usually expect non-stop hours of dancing. A night of dancing with a few friends sounds more like a typical night of dancing. In the case of students from the University of Chicago’s Dance Marathon team, this phrase takes on another meaning.
Every year, over 100 students at UChicago participate in an event called “Dance Marathon” in which students fundraise money to participate in the 12 hour long dance event. All proceeds from the fundraising go to the Children’s Place Association, which helps support children affected by HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses. The event this year is taking place on April 16, 2011 from 2pm-2am at Ida Noyes.
Dance Marathon at UChicago has been successful over the past few years. It helped raise over $17,000 in 2009 and has only been increasing in popularity.
Marley Pillion, a second year chemistry major, has been involved with Dance Marathon since her first year at the University of Chicago. “I participated with my house last year and absolutely loved it,” said Pillion. “Twelve hours of dancing flies by with all the fun you are having.”
During the event, the Dance Marathon volunteers and board members help keep the dancers entertained and lively with games and dance tutorials. Pillion loved the experience so much that she applied to be a board member her second year. This year she has been in charge of recruiting dancers to Dance Marathon.
For some, Dance Marathon may not seem compelling enough to participate, but Pillion wants students to see the uniqueness behind the event.
“It is truly the quintessential college experience,” she says. “It is the best time in college thus far.”