- Dance Marathon
Dance Marathon is a charity event originating from
Penn State University. Many schools host dance marathons across the country raising more than $125 million per year benefiting local children's hospitals and other charities. On almost every campus where it is held, the dance marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy Fact|date=April 2008.
In describing the events today, "dance marathon" is a bit of a misnomer because the events are no longer focused on the dancing of the students. For 8-48 hours (depending on the event), the "dancers" stand on their feet to show support for the families and children of the event's charity and to generate awareness about the cause.
College Dance Marathons
While the typical Dance Marathon culminates in a one- or two-day event, Dance Marathon is a student-run organization that works year-round to put the main event together. In addition to planning for the event itself, Dance Marathon participants spend the year preceding the event fundraising, planning events for families and their children and building general community awareness.
The Dance Marathon event varies in length from 8 to 48 hours. Generally, students will stand on their feet for the entire time without sleeping. They are entertained by music, student performing groups, bands and other student volunteers.
Most Dance Marathons also have a signature line dance. The line dance is generally created for that year's event and provides a needed source of energy for students while dancing throughout the night.
In addition, most Dance Marathons have an emotional "family hour" close to the end of the event. During this time, representatives from the charity benefited by the event as well as families and children receiving support from the charity thank the students and volunteers for their efforts throughout the year.
Across the Country
According to the Children's Miracle Network, over 80 Dance Marathons take place on college campuses across the country.
High and Middle School Dance Marathons
High School and Middle school students also hold marathon dances across the country. The events are similar in their purpose and structure, in relation to the dances at universities. Many of these take place in conjunction with local University Dance Marathons.
The most fiscally successful High-School Marathon Dance in the nation is the South High Marathon Dance (SHMD), which has raised over $1.8 Million since 1978 for local causes. (see link below)
The longest running is the Brockport High Dance marathon, which has taken place since 1974.
* [http://thonpass.cse.psu.edu/video/2007/gladiator.html Penn State Video capturing the spirit of Thon]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGncAMSHme0 Who/What is Dance Marathon, you ask? University of Iowa Dance Marathon YouTube video]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3sXiNm5ogs&eurl What do "you" stand for? University of Michigan Dance Marathon Video]
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