The Daily Gamecock

Dance Marathon seeks to set record

Requirement to stay all 24 hours, raise $150 threatens this year’s participation in charity event

Whether you think you can dance or if you have two left feet, you can show off your talent or lack thereof this weekend at USC’s Dance Marathon.

The annual event is held to raise money for the patients of the Children’s Miracle Network at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and is the largest student-run philanthropy in South Carolina. Dance Marathon will last from 7 p.m. Friday until 7 p.m. Saturday.
Last year USC’s Dance Marathon raised over $147,000. This year the goal is $175,000, according to Lenza Jolley, the event’s media relations coordinator.

While the goal is larger, the number of dancers participating in the event has decreased. Jolley said that dancers are required to stay the entire 24 hours this year and must raise money beforehand or they won’t be permitted to participate.

“You can’t do shifts like you could in years past, and you’re required to raise the $150. If you don’t raise it, then you’re not allowed to dance,” the fourth-year visual communications student said. “That definitely cut into the amount of participants.”

The 24-hour duration is meant to represent the difficult times families face when a patient is undergoing treatment, according to

“You’re up for the whole day, and you can’t sleep or anything, just like the patients can’t get rid of their illnesses,” Jolley said. “You just have to deal with it, and it’s just a good way to support one other.”

Before Dance Marathon begins, dancers will be given an overview and introduction. At 7 p.m. there will be an opening ceremony, and then dancers will be taught a line dance, which is a 10-minute show performed to a mix of songs. In addition, three bands will perform including Mighty McFly, Risky Business and Strawberry Jam.

Lauren Nottoli, a second-year public relations student, said she participated in Dance Marathon last year, and her experience inspired her to apply to be on the leadership board. This year she is the Miracle Cup coordinator.

Miracle Cup is a competition that takes place among all of the organizations and individuals that participate in the event. Last year, all of the Dance Marathon participants were divided into four different colored teams that earned points by attending events, such as percent nights, and raising money. In addition to the Miracle Cup, the top Fundraising Organization and top Participating Organization will be recognized.

“We want to recognize them for the hard work they put into it,” Nottoli said.

Nottoli said she participated last year because her sorority required her to, but she ended up loving it.

“People should really look to getting involved, if not this year, then next year,” Nottoli said. “You can volunteer and help out.”