By Haley Palmer and Amber Bartley
The floor shakes as the sweaty crowd shimmies and sways to the upbeat melody. Around thirty eager students showed up at zumba instructor Marcee LaHue’s second consecutive Dance Marathon zumba class.
“When I came here last year, I did not know what to expect. I was a little nervous about teaching Zumba to a bunch of teenagers, but when I got on stage everyone was so excited and enthusiastic and went with me,” said LaHue.
Numerous participants have personal connections to Riley Children’s hospital that inspire them to partake in the Dance Marathon activities. Sophomore Lucy Reising is motivated by her younger sister, Grace, who is getting a kidney transplant next year.
“My sister is in the hospital lot, so I know that hospitals can be really boring for kids. It’s nice to help them have fun while they’re going through a difficult time,” said Reising.
Others like junior Morgan Shultz have no personal connection to the children at Riley’s, but they participate anyways.
“I’m inspired by the Riley stories and what the hospital can do for the kids that wouldn’t have a chance otherwise,” said Shultz.
Whether those who participate in the marathon have personal reasons or are simply inspired by the emotional Riley stories, it’s a great way to support the community in a positive way.
“I think that your student body is so cool, diverse, and accepting. The energy level for students is amazing. I have a great time teaching zumba to the Floyd Central high schoolers and it is definitely the most fun class I teach,” said LaHue.