Dance Marathon shuffles from AC to DUC
Despite venue constraints, Dance Marathon at Washington University in St. Louis celebrated its 16th straight year on campus this Saturday, raising a now-typical amount of more than $150,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network of Greater St. Louis.
Neon-clad participants filled Tisch Commons throughout the event, dancing for Disney hour, throwback hour and more.
In past years, the 12-hour dance-a-thon has been held in the Athletic Complex, where there was a central layout and a large arena for dancers. This year, however, due to ongoing construction in the AC, Dance Marathon had to be moved to the Danforth University Center.
Senior Claire Ferguson, this year’s external director for DM, said that her team didn’t initially expect to be approved to hold the event at the DUC but appreciated the support the building’s staff provided throughout the process.
“They let us have the event, and it has been the most amazing experience,” Ferguson said. “They are the most helpful, happy people. So far I think the only problem we’ve had is that we can’t tape on wood.”
Junior Melissa Tucker, DM’s internal director, noted that the smaller space did not have adverse effects on dancer morale.
The size constraints did, however, pose some logistical difficulties for executive members.
“It’s harder on the exec side,” Tucker said. “There’s so much happening that you can’t see, whereas when we’re all in one room it’s very clear to survey, but that’s more our problem and not a dancer problem.”
Senior Hayley Perlis, a member of DM’s morale committee, said that the DUC had some new advantages over the AC, where all of the associated events happened in the same room as the dancing.
“This year they were able to have the auctions in one room upstairs, they were able to have the merchandise stuff in the Fun Room…and they were able to kind of put everything in different rooms,” Perlis said.
She added that other DM guests seemed to appreciate the new location.
“A lot of the Miracle Families said that they’ve been to a lot of Dance Marathons and that this one they thought went really well,” Perlis said. “The move to the DUC impressed them a lot.”
Ferguson also believed the new location was a positive shift.
“It’s just beautiful and inviting in here,” she said. “It’s our 16th birthday, so it’s kind of like we’re learning how to drive. We’re trying something different; we’re growing and expanding.”
Although the executives enjoyed hosting the event in the new space, they weren’t sure about the event’s future.
“It’s up to the DUC, but we put on a great event here and we put on great events [at the AC] as well,” Tucker said.
Chris Edwards, freshman and Dance Marathon attendee, enjoyed the event and noted that the 12 straight hours of dancing weren’t easy on his body.
“I’m very tired,” Edwards said. “The physical exhaustion, I felt it in all parts of my body when I got home.”
After months of fundraising and the 12-hour event, the dancers raised $150,009.06. The previous three years brought in $150,000, $128,000 and $151,000 respectively.
With additional reporting by Manvitha Marni.