We asked University of Iowa alumi, and former UI Dance Marathon dancer about her experience throughout her four years with Dance Marathon. Check it out:
Danielle Faubert, 22.
How many years have you been involved with Dance Marathon?
I have been involved with Dance Marathon since my freshman year. I started as a dancer, and then fell in love with the organization and wanted to get more involved. I immediately wanted to get involved with leadership, so I served as a Morale Captain Assistant, then Morale Captain, then Campus Relations Chair under the Event Committee during my last year.
When did you start Dance Marathon and how did you first get involved?
I started Dance Marathon during my freshman year of college. Prior to starting school I remember hearing a ton of great things about Dance Marathon, and I was interested in learning more. Once I joined my sorority, our current president was a Morale Captain and talked about Dance Marathon all the time. I registered in September and attended every Dancer Meeting leading up to my first Big Event.
What’s your favorite Dance Marathon memory?
It is so hard to pick ONE favorite Dance Marathon memory, because everything that Dance Marathon offers are easily my favorite memories of college. I have met some amazing fighters and best friends through this organization. However, during my third Big Event when I was a Morale Captain, I was lucky enough to be a family rep. This was their 6th Dance Marathon, but my kiddo was always afraid to go into the Main Ballroom because there were always so many people and it was so loud. After spending some time with him in the Family Room, I finally got him to agree to come into the ballroom. I had told some of my friends, so when he walked in, they clapped for him and he got the biggest smile on his face. He danced the night away (on stage, too!) and didn’t want to leave! Seeing his excitement and letting him know that we were all there for him is why we all do what we do.
How did being in Dance Marathon shape your college experience?
Dance Marathon shaped my college experience because it really taught me what is important in life. Not only have I met some of my best friends through Dance Marathon, I learned to live and breath FTK. Spending time with the kiddos in the hospital, at family events, or even at the Big Event showed me that you can’t sweat the small stuff. They never, ever complained about a needle or shot, about a procedure, or about being in the hospital day in and day out. They are my heroes, and they never stop inspiring me.
Do you plan on still attending the “Big Event”?
YES YES YES! I couldn’t imagine NOT spending the first weekend of February in the IMU at the BIG EVENT! I will definitely be there, dancing the night away with all of my favorite kids!
What suggestions do you have for first-time dancers?
First Time Dancers – I am SO proud of you for taking part in the best organization you can do at Iowa. Before the big event, raising that money seems like it is impossible, but don’t give up. Ask anyone and everyone – the worst they can say is no. Go football canning, go neighborhood canning, send letters, do it all. Once you raise that money, it will all make it worth it when you have that ticket to the big event. You really will experience the best 24 hours of your life. You will go through your ups and downs and waves of exhaustion and pain and rushes of adrenaline at 4 in the morning. But each hour, when those families get on stage and tell their stories, you will understand what an impact you are making in their lives. Dance on stage. Meet as many kids as you can. Take a moment to just stop in the front of the ballroom and look around. See the other 2,000 students that gave up a weekend to honor the lives of these kids. Once you have that moment, your life will never be the same. Always remember, FTK! When cancer is cured we’ll dance for joy, but until then we dance for LIFE.