By Nikki Sawyer
Bad dance moves typically lead to embarrassment, awkward looks and unpleasant memories.
Yet for the USF St. Petersburg charity event, Miracle Dance Marathon, students on their feet equate to money raised for sick children, no matter the goofy groove.
“Dance Marathon is a movement that brings awareness to the children fighting battles by fundraising to make miracles happen for them,” said Deztony Savett, a board member for Miracle Dance Marathon.
“This event brings together the community where people will dance all night for the kids that are unable to.”
The event is part of the Miracle Network, a non-profit movement that benefits over 170 Children’s hospitals across North America.
According to the organization’s website, the hours of dancing raise money for children fighting health issues such as rhabdomyosarcoma (a type of cancer), congenital heart defects and the negative effects of premature birth. Since 1991, Dance Marathon has raised over $150 million.
“By participating in this event it gives students the opportunity to make an impact in the community. They are given the chance to learn how to fundraise to create miracles for the children who are in a challenging stage of their life,” Savett said.
She says that Dance Marathons give students the opportunity to help make a huge difference in a kid’s life in just a single night.
“It brings together the student body and shows just how much we can accomplish when we work together as a team,” said Savett.
Next semester’s event will take place on March 2-3 in the USC ballrooms.
Last year, USFSP raised over $10,000, double the amount raised in 2014. Besides dancing from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., the event included face painting, a photo booth, inflatable basketball, balloon art and more. Children and their families attended and took part in the festivities.
At USFSP, Dance Marathon is not yet considered a student organization. Savett hopes this will change and more students can learn about and take part in the rewarding opportunity.
“We want to bring awareness and show people that we shouldn’t take what we have for granted because there are people out there that have it worse than us,” she said.
Being a student organization would mean the on-campus event would get exposure at Get on Board Day.
“Ultimately we would like for this to be the biggest event USFSP has to offer. Most importantly we would love to raise enough money to be able to make hundreds of miracles happen for the children,” Savett said.
The e-board for USFSP’s Dance Marathon was recently finalized and meetings have started being held twice a month.
Students interested in joining others on the dance floor to raise money for a worthy cause can go to the Facebook page “USFSP Miracle Dance Marathon” and Instagram @usfsp_mdm.