Every year, the Indiana University Dance Marathon is home to more than 3,000 participants, each with a different story as to why they dance. IUDM is, of course, about fundraising for Riley Hospital for Children just as much as it is about becoming a part of a family with the people who you work hours on end with until the actual marathon roles around. But, it is also about each participant’s personal story on why they dance. There are so many factors into why one dances, and honestly, no two stories are the same. 

I dance because I want these kids to know that they matter. I want them to know that just because they may not have the most normal life or might have some set backs, that they matter, that they are important. There are so many circumstances where kids who are sick or have disabilities are shut out by society because they are “different” than the people of the status quo. These kids that we stand for are so much more than their sickness or their disabilities. They are kids. I dance because I want these kids to know how important and special they are. When kids know how special they are, they have the biggest ability to shine. 

We dance For The Kids. We dance for Ryan. We dance for Ashley. 

I’m Emily Diamond and I’m FTK.