This year’s marathon was structured differently than in the past: instead of having all dancers dance for 36 straight hours, it was split up into two separate 19-hour shifts. This was done to accommodate more dancers that choose to participate in IUDM. Dancers were given the option to dance for the full 36 hours.
The shifts were a success: fewer students had health related difficulties after the Marathon, and they were able to spend the rest of the weekend that that they were not dancing catching up on sleep and homework. Students also felt that the shortened time kept them focused on the task at hand and the Riley kids. They were able to direct their energy more towards dancing and interacting with the kids than themselves. Below, are two excerpts from a 19-hour dancer and a 36-hour dancer.
As a first time dancer I was extremely nervous about being at IUDM for the entire 36 hours. It seemed so overwhelming and something that honestly I didn’t know if I could do. I heard about the 19 hour shifts and knew it was the perfect option for me. After being at the marathon for 19 hours, I knew that I wanted to be a part of IUDM for the rest of my college career. Even though I wasn’t there for the entire 36 hours, I truly felt like I participated in something great and got the full experience of the marathon.
Dancing the full 36 hours was definitely a challenging endeavor, but it is one I would recommend to everyone because it brings a great sense of accomplishment and pride with it. I had the opportunity to do something very special for these kids who deserve this event and so much more. I really feel like this experience has changed the way I look at the world. Not only did I become closer to my friends, whom I signed up with, but I also met so many new friends who I can’t wait bond with more.
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