Finding your place as a freshman can be a difficult and at times, a scary thing. With all the clubs and activities it may seem impossible to find where you truly belong. Something every freshman should take part in is Indiana University Dance Marathon. IUDM is the second largest student-run philanthropic organization in the nation, raising over $2.6 million dollars last year alone and over $17 million since it’s establishment in 1991. Over the past 20 years, IUDM has become one of IU’s biggest traditions, and became a life changing experience for everyone involved.

As a freshman dancer, you have the opportunity to dance for either 18 or 36 hours. While standing for that long may sound hard and strenuous, you will be able to stand strong once you see the energy throughout the tennis center. And when Riley families tell their stories, you will understand exactly why you are there. During the marathon you will have the opportunity to meet Riley children and families, hear their stories, and know how much your work and efforts change their lives each and every day. The total at the end is only the capstone to a year of friend, live and happiness. 

IUDM will become your family at IU and connect you with some of your closest friends. For most people IUDM becomes one of the biggest parts of their 4 years at IU.  You will proudly wear the FTK, RW, and ALC initials and want to explain what they mean to anyone who will listen. Being a part of the dance is something you will remember for the rest of your life. In your first semester in college you can say you were involved in something that will change the life of a child in Indiana and ultimately changed your life. Whether you know a child whose life has been affected by Riley or not, IUDM is an inspiring experience everyone should participate in as a freshman.  

IUDM is November 14- 16 and you can register as a dancer now! For more information visit or email the Director of Recruitment, Mitch Merritt, at!

Written by Lauren Clark