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Caroline Chevat, DMUM Linedance Leader!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

Name: Caroline Chevat

Year: Senior

Hometown: Potomac, MD

Major: Political Science/ Psychology


Her Campus: Can you give an overview of what DMUM is for someone who is unfamiliar with it?

Caroline Chevat: Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan is the largest student run non-profit in the state of Michigan. We raise money for pediatric rehabilitation therapies at Mott and Beaumont Children’s Hospitals. What is so great about DM is that throughout the year students are able to make connections with the kids and families whom benefit from these year-round therapy opportunities. All of our fundraising and volunteer efforts culminate in a celebration (Feb 15-16) where we stand for 30 hours while participating in activities, watching student group performances, and seeing our kids be rock stars!


HC: How did get involved in DMUM? What inspired you to take part in it, and what makes it so important to you?

CC: I got involved in Dance Marathon my freshman year because a senior in my sorority convinced me to sign up. I signed up a month before the marathon and was given a whirlwind orientation to everything the organization had to offer. At the marathon I was not an “all-star” dancer and was fairly cranky towards my Dancer Captains and fellow Dancers but luckily I caught a second wind and began to get really excited about everything that was happening and started forming a bond with our team’s kid named Skylar.


HC: How has your role in Dance Marathon changed from freshmen year to now? What are you most excited for at DMUM this year?

CC: I have been extremely fortunate to be able to have held a variety of positions throughout my four years. After my freshman year and seeing all of the support from my associate leaders, I got to be on a committee which planned activities throughout the year for our various events as well as the marathon. I also got to help choreograph the Linedance, which was a really special opportunity. After sophomore year I decided that I wanted an even bigger role and applied to be one of the Dancer Fundraising Chairs on the Central Planning Team where we helped provide resources to dancers to help them reach their fundraising goals. This year I am lucky enough to have a second year on CPT as the Dancer Engagement Chair where my committee and I work to get dancers and pods bonded through pod wars challenges, which are kind of like color war challenges at camp! It’s a really fun position and we get to plan a lot of fun activities for dancers. With my last marathon approaching I couldn’t be more excited for everything! As a senior you know what to expect, but it will be a great feeling just to soak it all in and think about everything we have accomplished in the past four years as an organization. 


HC: As a linedance leader, how do you plan on keeping all the dancers pumped up for 30 hours straight?

CC: As a linedance committee, we have been working hard for the past couple of months to come up with a really exciting dance. The linedance is a secret but I can tell you its going to be really fun and will keep dancers minds off of everything as they find out what each new song is and the story that goes along with it. Along with the linedance, there are many different activities, crafts, and student performances to keep dancers minds off their feet! The hours fly by and you really forget that you have been dancing for that whole time.


HC: What advice would you give to someone doing DMUM for the first time?

CC: Some great ways to prepare for the marathon are to make sure you are getting a good night of sleep the week before and hydrating! Once you have been standing for a while it can obviously be tiring and sometimes kind of painful, but in order to keep going you have to remember the reasons why you stand. Every dancer has his or her reasons for standing. I personally stand for my brother who benefits from similar pediatric rehabilitations at home, my parents, and my lifelong friends that I have made through Dance Marathon. What everyone in Dance Marathon can agree on is that we all stand FTK (for the kids!). They are our constant motivation and the reason why we do everything we do throughout the year, not just at the marathon.


HC: What else are you involved in on campus?

CC: Throughout my time on campus I have been involved in Will Work For Food, which works to end childhood malnutrition through raising funds for nutrition supplements. I am also involved in my sorority Delta Phi Epsilon.


HC: What do you see yourself doing post-graduation?

CC: #BecauseofDM, I really see myself continuing to work in the area of non-profits. Throughout various summer internships I’ve had as well as DM, it is great to see that your hard work can directly benefit others.


HC: Do you plan on DMUM still being a part of your life? If so, how?

CC: Of course! DM’s alumni program is great and allows people to stay involved in what is going on with the organization. A highlight of being an alum that I’m excited for is when you return to the marathon the year after you graduate and help out in any way dancers need. It will also be a great feeling to see my friends who have not graduated yet and cheer them on, and also bring them tons of cheesy bread (a personal favorite of mine during the marathon.)

Rebecca Lawson is the Managing Editor (former Editor in Chief) of Her Campus at the University of Michigan. She is a senior in the University of Michigan School of Information's new Bachelor of Science in Information program, and is also pursuing Michigan's Program in Entrepreneurship certificate. After graduation, she will be working as an Associate Consultant for Microsoft in the Seattle area. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @abovethelawson! And be sure to follow our chapter's Twitter and Instagram @hercampusumich!