Written By: Nicole Migacz


Here is another look into one of our DM 20 Executive council members Dance Marathon experience. Katherine Ciminelli has been extremely involved with DM all 4 years here at Iowa and plans on continuing to support and spread the word of DM after graduation. Katherine is a sorority sister of mine and her passion and personal connection towards the organization definitely encouraged me to get more involved in DM.


1. Why did you originally decide to participate in Dance Marathon?


I decided to participate in Dance Marathon my freshman year because I have a very personal connection to the mission of Dance Marathon. I have been a pediatric oncology patient myself since I was 7 years old. Dance Marathon was the perfect organization to help me get involved on campus with a cause that I had a passionate connection to now that I was in remission. However, at the time, I had no idea the impact the organization would have on my life and how much this organization would give back to me.


2. What was your favorite part of the first big event you attended?


I would have to say my favorite part of the Big Event was when I got separated from my morale group (which all of my friends happened to be in). At that time I stood in the back of the Main Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union hoping to scan the crowd and find my friends. However, that moment was a blessing in disguise. Standing alone, looking out over a crowd of thousands all coming together to support such a great cause, was an experience I will never forget. In that moment I realized how unconditional the support and how strong the fight this organization fosters. Although I was alone I felt like I had an army behind me. I knew from that moment that I was hooked and I was going to do everything I could to make a difference.


3. What steps did you take to be on executive board?


After my freshman year, I knew that I wanted to be more involved with the organization. I strongly believed in its mission and the passion the organization provided for families in need. I started off by applying for some leadership positions and became the Merchandise Chair on the PR Marketing committee my Sophomore year. After that year, I wanted to be even more involved and applied to be a Morale Captain for Dance Marathon 19. After having two very different leadership experiences I knew that my senior year I wanted to make the most impact I could! I spent a lot of time looking at my own personal strengths and weaknesses to see how  I could be the best asset to the Leadership Team. I applied to be the Sponsorship Director for Dance Marathon 20 and was unbelievably fortunate enough to hold the position for this year! It took a lot of hard work and deduction on my part to be where I am today, but I so much of my passion and deduction to helping this organization comes from what this organization has given me, the ability to give myself to others.


4. What is your favorite part of being in a leadership role?


My favorite part is being able to work with other people. I love being able to put my head together with others who are passionate about this organization. Together we come up with some of the best ideas. It is such a blessing to be able to work with people who care so much about fighting childhood cancer. I never imagined I would be part of an organization of with over 2,000 people who could put their heart and soul into fighting for others. I have loved every second of being a part of the Leadership Team and being able to watch the organization grow.


5. How do you plan to stay involved with Dance Marathon once you graduate?


I plan to stay involved through the Dance Marathon Alumni Group as well as by being mentor to those in leadership positions or who aspire to be leaders within the organization. Even though I will no longer be a student at The University of Iowa I will still carry lime in my heart everywhere I go and will spread lime everyway I can. I will always support and stand behind The University of Iowa Dance Marathon and will continue to encourage others to support the organization.


6. What is your favorite Disney Character and Why?


My favorite Disney Character would have to be Dumbo. I have always been one to route for the underdog, the forgotten, and out of place. It was one of my favorite movies growing up. I love watching people (and elephants!) succeed, even when on the outside it appears they never will.



7. If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?


I would have to say that I would like to be able to stop time. We live in such a fast paced world that sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to take in the beauty of what is around me! I have always been one to love and appreciate nature as well as moments with loved ones, but sometimes things come and go too fast.  I would love to be able to put time on pause so that the value of life’s simplest moments could be appreciated to the fullest.  



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