What is IUDM?

IUDM stands for Indiana University Dance Marathon. It is a 36-hour marathon that takes place in the fall. All the money that is raised goes to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. IU Dance Marathon was created 26 years ago with the goal of providing hope for children of Riley Hospital by generating funds for the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center. In 2015, IUDM started funding to the Wells Center of Pediatric Research. To date IUDM has raised over $20 million for the children. IUDM is one of the nation’s largest student-run philanthropies and is growing every year.

What does “FTK” mean?

“FTK” is an acronym that stands for “For the Kids”.

Who was Ryan White?

Ryan White is the reason why IUDM was founded. He is the inspiration for IU Dance Marathon. As a thirteen-year old, Ryan contracted AIDS through contaminated blood transfusions he received for hemophilia. Because of ignorance about AIDS at the time, Ryan was not allowed to return to classes. Throughout his own struggles with this disease and public misconceptions, Ryan spoke out and even testified before the President’s Commission on AIDS. After a courageous struggle, Ryan White died on April 8, 1990, the spring before he had planned to attend Indiana University. His fight to help those afflicted with infectious diseases is continued, in part, by the Indiana University Dance Marathon Council. In memory of Ryan’s life and work, the annual Dance Marathon benefits Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and established the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center.

Who was Ashley Louise Crouse?

Ashley Louise Crouse was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at Indiana and was also a beloved member of IUDM executive council when her life was tragically lost on April 12, 2005. In honor of her life and the selfless way that she lived, we honor Ashley by putting her initials on all IUDM apparel and literature.

How long is Dance Marathon?

IUDM is 36 hours for the full shift. It is also broken up into three 12 hour segments for those who are only able to dance for part of the time.

Why should I get involved?

There are multiple reasons why it is a great idea to get involved with Dance Marathon. For one, it is truly a life-changing experience for everyone who participates. Over the course of all of the fundraising, and that at the marathon, we learn exactly why we are dancing. When you meet the Riley families and hear them tell their stories, you know why you’re there.

In addition, IUDM is a family. Whether you’re on a committee or you’re at the marathon as a dancer, everyone is coming together as a community to do something for the community. It is absolutely a special feeling that you get to share with everyone else at the marathon.

What does it mean to be a dancer?

The term “dancer” only begins to describe what you’ll be doing as a dancer at the marathon. While at the marathon, the goal is to be on your feet the whole time, to stand and dance for those who can’t. We honor the Riley kids who are so strong already fighting by themselves, and we show them that they have some help.

How much money do I need to fundraise in order to dance?

The minimum amount of money that you must fundraise in order to dance 12hours is $500. In order to dance the entire 36 hours, you must be one of the top 500 fundraisers, which typically involves raising more than the minimum $500.

Is it true that all I am allowed to do for the whole marathon is dance?

While at the marathon, you are hardly limited when it comes to what you’re doing. Yes, there is a fair amount of dancing. However, the marathon is filled with other activities: basketball tournament, raves, meeting the Riley families, you name it. There is never a dull moment at the marathon, and if you’re afraid that you’re not the best dancer, don’t be. There are dancers of all skill levels at the marathon and by no means, is it all about dancing.

When is Dance Marathon?

IUDM 2016 will be held from November 4-6th.

Where is Dance Marathon?

IUDM is held annually at the IU Tennis Center, located on the Northwest side of Campus near Assembly Hall and the Indoor Track.

What are color wars?

In Dance Marathon, different teams are assigned to different colors. Throughout the year and at the marathon, these colors participate in contests to see who has to most IUDM spirit. It’s a lot of fun and an integral part of what makes IUDM so special.

How do I raise my money?

Throughout the year, there are many different fundraising opportunities offered by the IUDM as a pretty easy way to get a head start on your goal with your friends. Most people also send emails or make phone calls to close friends or family, which is a great way to raise money for the Kids! Tell them why you’re doing what you’re doing and what IUDM is all about and most people are happy to contribute!

Can anyone get involved or do you have to be part of Greek life/other student org? Will I get less out of it if I’m not part of a big organization?

Everyone is welcome! We would love to have as many dancers as possible, if you aren’t involved in any organizations, this could be the first organization you join. There are other dancers that aren’t a part of other organizations or Greek life. You will learn that you will meet so many other great people and make so many new friends.

What leadership opportunities are there in IUDM?

After each Dance Marathon, in December and January, people can apply to be on one of the committees for IUDM. Throughout the year, these committee members selflessly dedicate their time and efforts to making Dance Marathon as successful as possible. Those wanting to make an even larger leadership commitment may apply for IUDM Executive Council, which oversees all of the work that the committees do throughout the course of the year.

I’m not a good dancer; why should I do Dance Marathon?

By no means is everyone who dances at Dance Marathon a great dancer, and by no means is dancing all that happens at Dance Marathon. Over the course of the weekend, you play games, you learn about the Riley families who you’re dancing for, and so many other things! Yes, there is dancing…but Dance Marathon is so much more than that and we encourage you to find out for yourself!

Where does the money go?

All money that is raised for IUDM goes directly to the Wells Center for Pediatric Research at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Where can I buy official IUDM apparel?

All official IUDM apparel can be purchased throughout the marathon at the apparel tent. Also, throughout the year at times, old IUDM apparel is available in the IUDM offices on the 5th floor of the Student Services Tower in the Indiana Memorial Union.

I don’t know if I want to be a dancer or if I have enough time; is there any other way I can still be involved with IUDM?

Absolutely. We strongly encourage everybody who can dance to dance because of the memories that can be made at Dance Marathon. In addition, we have several other ways you can get involved if you don’t want to dance or you feel that you cannot raise enough money in time. If you’re interested in more responsibility and more involvement in IUDM, every year there is an opportunity to apply to be on a committee or a campus organization representative. Both positions are integral parts to the success of IUDM.

Why donate to Dance Marathon?

Since its inception in 1991, IUDM has raised over $16 million for the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center and the Ryan White Infectious Disease Research Center at Riley Children’s Hospital. Dance Marathon is a great cause that was founded over the principle that we “stand for those who can’t”. Donating to IUDM is a great way to give back to the community while showing your support for kids and families at Riley who serve as an inspiration to all of us.

What if I get sick or hurt? Is there first aid on site?

There will be paramedics on site for the entire duration of the marathon.

What kind of food are they going to serve and how often? Should I bring my own food?

During the marathon, there are certain periods of time when the dancers have breaks to eat food catered by IUDM. The food consists mainly of pizza, sandwiches, chips, granola bars, etc. The portion sizes are not incredibly large, so make sure to bring your own food in your backpack to the marathon as well. At specific times, you are also allowed to have visitors who can bring you and your organization food as well. Make sure to bring and drink A LOT OF WATER. It will keep you hydrated and healthy throughout the marathon.

What events will be at the marathon?

There will a line dance that each dancer learns over the course of the marathon as well as different dancing activities such as Zumba. There will be speeches given by members of IUDM committees and families and children from Riley Hospital for Children. There are different activities that dancers can participate in such as arts and crafts as well as food breaks catered by IUDM. There are also color wars that the groups participate in such as basketball and dodge ball.

What do I need to bring to the marathon?

Before the Marathon it is important to pack a small bag with the essentials that you will need for the next 36 hours! You will receive food throughout the Marathon, but it is a good idea to pack your own, too. This includes granola bars, peanut butter, whole fruits, a water bottle, or any of your favorite snacks that will provide lasting energy! Also since you will be dancing and working up a sweat, you may want to pack extra clothing (including all of your IUDM gear!!!). Bring an extra pair of shoes, socks, and even slippers to give your feet a comfy change. Tennis balls work wonders on massaging out your feet so you may want to throw in a few of those. If you choose to freshen up, bring the face wash and shower products that you will need. More items to pack include your phone/ camera to capture the fun memories, fun accessories to represent your color, and your energy of course!

Will there be any team activities?

There are many team activities where you will be competing with your team color against another color. Some of these activities include basketball, dodge ball, tug o war, and other fun games. Also, there is a Survivor competition that takes place on stage, which requires two members from every color to participate, but it involves your entire teams cheering and encouragement.

Where can I find the live online stream during the marathon?

During the Marathon you can check out the IUDM website at www.iudm.org to view live streaming of the marathon. Tell your family and friends to check it out so they can see what the marathon is really like. Also, follow IUDM on twitter to stay up to date and get IUDM trending.

How long do the committee members have to dance for?

Committee members are given two 4-hour breaks, and are expected to be there the remaining time.

What’s the best way to raise money?

There are a lot of ways to raise money. You can get a bucket from the IUDM office (located on the 5th floor of the IMU) and you and a friend can ask for money from others outside a lot of buildings or restaurants and bars. Sending letters to those close to you is a great way to raise money as well. The dancer education committee will send you a template for you to send to others, and it works well if you personalize the letters. Also attach your help make miracle home page to your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Myspace, or whatever social media you obtain.

Sending letters out to family and friends is widely considered as one of the best ways to raise your money for the marathon. Explaining to those who care about you what dance marathon is and what it means to you is a great way to spread the word about IUDM as well as move closer to your fundraising goal!

Will I be able to shower? Will there be a lot of sweating and does it smell bad?

Showers are typically for 36 hour dancers, but you should not worry too much about that because it is not that necessary. Yes you are going to sweat because it is so much fun dancing around, but most people bring multiple changes of clothes of their groups “color.” Bring deodorant and smell good spray! Everyone is having such a good time and it’s such a big space that it’s not really an issue.

What were the different represented groups as well as what were some of the other dancers reasoning for getting involved?

There are so many groups represented. There are different groups for each of the different sorority and fraternity Greek houses. There are independent groups that may have dancers at the marathon. There are freshman who aren’t involved in any groups and chose IUDM to be their first. Everyone has their own reasons for getting involved and it’s really cool to meet people at the marathon and ask them why they chose to dance. It is very inspiring and everyone is different.

Can I leave the marathon for a few hours to eat and come back when I’m finished?

You are not permitted to leave the marathon for any reason unless it is an emergency. There are multiple ways for you to get food. There will be some small snacks provided by the catering committee and you may have a visitor go and get you food and then bring it to you at the marathon.

Do we actually stand the whole time?

There are three types of dancers, 12, 24, and 36 hour dancers. However, dancers will have the opportunity to purchase what are called ‘care packages.’ Care packages give dancers 30 minutes massage times where they can lay down and rest. Although these are suggested, many dancers are able to go their entire shifts without taking any breaks! Just keep dancin’.

Am I able to take a nap?

Dancers who purchase ‘care packages’ are allowed to take 30 minute naps, one for each care package that they purchase. A care package can be purchased before the dance and includes other cool things besides massage time! A great way to be able to take a nap is by convincing parents or relatives to purchase care packages!

How many people participate in the marathon?

The 2015marathon will hopefully be the largest ever. Last year we had nearly 1000 committee members  participate alongside over 2,500 the dancers! Because the marathon is divided into two shifts, the tennis center will not be as packed as it would with one 36 hour shift, but expect to see a lot of people and meet a lot of fellow dancers!