Dance Marathon changes students’ outlooks on life

IMG_7031 IMG_6268By Blake Dykes

Last Saturday, Feb. 16, FC held the third annual Dance Marathon. This year a whopping $45,003.62 was raised for Riley’s Children’s Hospital. Aside from the tremendous amount of money raised and regular activities, there was a new addition to the schedule of the Dance Marathon this year.

At the end of Saturday night, every student present formed a circle around the entire gym, linking hands. In this circle, students cut off one of the two bracelets they were given at the beginning of the night. The bracelet that was cut off was put into a wagon. All of these bracelets will be stapled linked together, and hung up in the spine of the school, reminding us of the children that have gotten to leave Riley’s and those who are still there.

Towards the end of Dance Marathon a story was told. This story was told by a mother affiliated with Riley’s. Her story informed participants and visitors of how Riley’s helped take care of her twin sons, Alex and Brett, during their infancy, since they were very sick. Neither of the twins lived, but their mother proceeded to tell how Riley’s was to her. This is where the remaining bracelet came into play. Everyone was told to then keep the other bracelet on until it falls off, in remembrance of Alex and Brett, who would have been seniors at FC this year.

“My favorite part of Dance Marathon was when everybody held hands in a circle, or the bracelet ceremony. It would be easy to say that the reveal or Ultimate Frisbee was my favorite, but that moment when hundreds of students were holding hands, united for a common purpose, trumped all the others,” said sophomore Grant Vellinger.

Many students agreed with Vellinger and favored the bracelet ceremony over everything else that took place at Dance Marathon.

“My favorite part was the circling, because for once it allowed us to be close and to share a very important time together,” said senior Tonya Truong.

Senior Alyssa Moore also enjoyed the bracelet ceremony.

“My favorite part of the Dance Marathon this year was the bracelet ceremony. The time of reflection was so moving and powerful, and I feel that it truly brought us together as a student body. It was a serious moment during our night of fun when all us dancers truly realized why it is that we do what we do for Riley’s Hospital.”

Dance Marathon brought forth lots of emotion, and left many students with a different outlook on life.

“Dance Marathon really gave me a new perspective on how I can have an impact on my community by donating to a big cause,” said junior Varun Alse.

Junior Tyler Grooms walked away with a new inspiration.

“I took away many things, but the main thing was that anything is possible. It really opened up my eyes as well as everyone else’s to the hardships and the struggles people go through. It also showed me how blessed a fortunate that I am.”

For Moore she feels that Dance Marathon had more of a permanent effect on her.

“I have been so blessed to be a part of FCDM all three years now and each has been very special to me. However, this year’s literally changed my life. Seeing so many students at our school join together so passionately for such a great cause really moved me. This Dance Marathon was about more than just the numbers. It was about coming together as a school and working towards a cause bigger and greater than ourselves.”

Not only did the bracelet ceremony mark a time of reflection upon the student body, but it also made students feel that the school became closer together.

“We all grew much closer as classmates that night because we realized that there’s more to life than ourselves,” said Vellinger.

Grooms also took notice of how the student body became united.

“It affected me so much, to see your whole school come together for such a good cause was so awesome and I will remember it forever.”

Despite all of the positive things students had to say about the bracelet ceremony, some students’ favorite part were the different activities Dance Marathon had to offer.

“My favorite part was probably the basketball tournament. I would describe Dance Marathon as a fun event where you can hang out with friends, play cool games, and help other people,” said senior Codie Endris.

Freshmen Brady Miles’s favorite part was the dance taught throughout the day.

While anyone who attended this year’s Dance Marathon received a great time and for some a life changing experience, there were still others who were not able to make it.

“Those who didn’t go this year should make it a priority to go next year,” said Vellinger.

Moore expressed that it is impossible to explain the experience to someone who was not able to go.

According to students, the Dance Marathon was the place to be last Saturday night.

Beyond just a fun evening and a place to be, Alse realized the Dance Marathon had a much larger purpose.

“Helping kids that aren’t as blessed as us can really make you feel good about yourself.”

Below is a video taken from Dance Marathon at the end, during the morale dance.

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