So You Think You Can Dance?

Do we have some kind of dance marathon jumpoff coming up? Is it like next weekend? It is? Oh, ok sweet.

THONTHON, as it is affectionately known, is often called the largest student-run philanthropic effort in the country. It is. Raising $6,615,318.04 last year was certainly an accomplishment, and I know everyone is looking to raise even more this year. The famous Penn State THON is a tremendous 46 hour event (Why not a full 48?). Over the years, THON has raised an astounding $52,000,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund!

That being said, the dance marathon phenomena is not native to University Park. In fact, there are many other collegiate dance marathons around the country raising money for different causes. A sampling of them are located below:

Columbia University: The Ivies do it too. In its ninth year, the Columbia University Dance Marathon was held over 28 hours from January 31st to February 1st. Proceeds from the event go to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. This year, the Columbia dancers raised $50,000 dollars. This year’s festivities were attended by many Columbians and the likes of Judah Friedlander, of 30 Rock fame.

UIUniversity of Iowa: No, we are not the only Big Ten school that has a Dance Marathon. The fifteenth annual UI Dance Marathon occurred on February 6th. Dancers stayed on their feet for a full 24 hours, with the exception of time spent in the Mood Room, where volunteers doled out foot massages to keep them going. This year, the Dance Marathon raised $1,030,428.15, a new Iowa record, for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. To date, the UI Dance Marathon has raised around $6,500,000.

NUDMNorthwestern University: I told you we weren’t the only Big Ten school. I meant it. In its 35th year, the NU Dance Marathon is one of the oldest in the country. Ours is 37 years old, in comparison. This year, the DM will be held for 30 hours over the weekend of March 6th to 8th. NU chooses a different charity to donate to each year. This year, the money raised will go to support Project Kindle.

Project Kindle’s primary purpose is to provide cost-free camping programs, year round support and advocacy for children, young adults and families infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS and to offer innovative peer-based HIV/AIDS education for young people ages 12-24.

Last year, the DM raised $933,855. Over the years, NUDM has raised about $8,000,000.

UCLA: Just like Columbia, the 26 hour UCLA DM raises money to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a most worthy cause. Last year, the DM raised over $384,000. In its eighth year, the DM has raised over $1,000,000 to date. This year, the DM will be held February 21st to 22nd. They even have cool videos like our THON does:

Ok, so that’s been a brief rundown of other Dance Marathons, just so you know we’re not alone. There are many, many more, but I think you get the idea. We are not competing against these other Marathons, don’t misunderstand me. We are all charitable organizations trying to make the world a better place.

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Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

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