Students raise nearly $6,000 at FAU’s first Dance Marathon


[Max Jackson | Photo Editor] FAU’s first Dance Marathon raised almost $6,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

“The basic rules are to have as much fun as possible while raising as much money as possible” said AJ Einbinder, a senior communication major and head of the Dance Marathon committee at FAU.

FAU’s first official Dance Marathon took place Saturday, March 22 in The Burrow, and from 12-10 p.m., FAU students danced their feet off, all while raising money for a good cause.

“Dance Marathon is a national movement. It takes place, I think, in over 150 universities across America,” said Rebecca Tracy, a junior communication major and head of PR for Dance Marathon at FAU. “All the money that we raise benefits Children’s Miracle Network and Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. All our money this year is going to Shands in Gainesville.”

According to it’s official website, Dance Marathon started in 1991 when students at one university founded the program in memory of their fellow student Ryan White. Today, the event takes place all over the nation with the mission statement “We dance for those who can’t.” All funds raised go directly to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals to help with research and purchase equipment to better the lives of children suffering from all kinds of illness and implications.

FAU’s inaugural Dance Marathon raised $6,000.

“I think it’s amazing that it’s going to the kids,” sophomore communication studies major Rebecca Hertz said. “It’s such a great cause”

The event was slightly delayed Saturday morning due to some rain as students were still arriving at the event. In months leading up to the event, 219 students registered paying a $15-20 registration fee which included  lunch, dinner, snacks, a t-shirt as well as a chance to win prizes and giveaways.

Before the marathon started, Einbinder explained the rules to the 60 students who had gathered for the start of the program. The students performed line dances each hour to signify the hours passing.

At 12:45 pm the event kicked off, but before the students got to dancing, lunch was served in order to boost their energy. Still, students had to remain standing and moving as Einbinder reminded them of the event’s motto: “We’re too legit to sit.”

The dancing began around 1 p.m. as DJ Eleon warmed the crowd up with “The Cupid Shuffle” and “The Wobble.”

For the next nine hours students danced and stayed moving with jump ropes, basketballs and footballs while events like Extreme Twister and Mr. and Mrs. Dance Marathon pageant kept them entertained.

For a dollar, students could also buy a raffle ticket to win some prizes or request a song from the many DJ’s that played throughout the day.

Many fraternity and sorority members were also involved in the event.

“I’m just gonna do it [dance]. I don’t care,” undecided sophomore Stella Alres said.” I’m not here with anybody, I signed up by myself and I’m gonna dance like nobody’s watching.”

It didn’t matter whether students were part of a group or alone, everyone seemed to be having fun dancing, throwing around the football and participating in other activities.

A little more than six hours into the marathon, sophomore computer science major Leead Negri was feeling a little tired.

“I’m pretty exhausted to be honest,” Negri said. “A lot of people left. It’s expected because it’s the first year. I think like overall, it’s not a resounding success, but they did pretty well.”

With the first Dance Marathon under their belt, Einbinder is hopeful for next year’s.

“Everything has to start somewhere and I think that we made some serious moves in the dance marathon culture in bringing it here to FAU,” Einbinder said. “It’s always gonna start off slow, it’s always gonna be the awkward year when everything is getting started. I think, though, after this year we’re gonna get a lot of phone calls of people who want to get involved next year.”