Written By: Makenzie Pick

 

Dance Marathon is a marathon event of dancing and celebrating the kiddos, but it also tends to be a marathon of emotions. The inevitable exhaustion in the middle of the night mixed with the activities of the Big Event are sure to bring a range of emotions from tears of grief to tears of joy.

 

As the hours go by its important to embrace each emotion as it comes. These emotions will remind you of how far you’ve come and the support you have given, but also how far you are still able to go with Dance Marathon.

 

The first few hours tend to be a bit overwhelming, but overwhelming in the best way imaginable. When the event starts there are people dancing, kiddos all around, events going on outside the main ballroom and many other activities. It’s hard to take everything in right away and can seem like a lot, but 24 hours is plenty of time to get to all of the activities.

 

After that, the pure joy and excitement sets in. The realization of what you are about to do and why you are doing it makes you feel like you can easily take on this 24 hours. I like to call this the “bring it on” stage.

 

Then the speakers start, and the tears follow. It is heart wrenching to hear the stories of kiddos who have joined those dancing in our hearts. But those stories aren’t meant to make you sad; they are to remind you why you are still dancing. Dance Marathon won’t quit until there is a cure and there are no more of these stories to tell. Let these speakers be motivation for you when the tiredness sets in.

 

The tiredness will come. The thought of sitting down will become more appealing than ever, and the temptation to stop may be present. Don’t be discouraged by this. After all, you are staying on your feet for 24 hours, and that’s quite a task. When this discouraged mindset arrives take a few moments to remind yourself why you are dancing, look around at the kiddos you are fighting for and take a look at the quilt hanging in the main ballroom. These will provide the motivation you need to get back out there and finish the event strong.

 

Finally the tote board is revealed, and this is where the tears of joy come in. The realization of what UIDM has done over the course of the year is indescribable. It makes every sore muscle or thought of exhaustion disappear while you realize how truly amazing a group of students can be when they put their hearts into a cause they believe in.

 

There are many other emotions you’re bound to go through during the event. Prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster, but make sure you take in every moment and embrace each emotion. This is not a day you’ll soon want to forget.

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