Dance Marathon 20

Dance Marathon is a collection of unique individuals that each play a valuable role in carrying out the mission of the organization. Each year provides an opportunity to evaluate the previous work that’s been done and think critically on how to continue being successful for years to come. Some may not know, but there is a high turnover among the hundreds of leadership positions as students graduate and progress in different roles throughout the organization. With that, comes new perspectives at every level and an opportunity to reset the status quo on a year in and year out basis.

In the 20th year, Dance Marathon focused on breaking down barriers for students to get involved, feel engaged, and made it a priority to think about how those changes could make positive impact years into the future. Equality and inclusivity were at the forefront of each decision as well as an emphasis on using analytics in more formal way than in years’ past. This not only impacted the events that were held but how they were held. A few other accomplishments and milestones from that year include:

  • Groundbreaking of the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital
  • Improved communication and partnership with the multicultural center to ensure participants were representative of the student body at large 
  • Improved relationships with student groups on campus through increased communication and recognition of top participating groups; as well as the introduction of new awards to recognize their collective efforts
  • Made the Big Event entirely sustainable
  • Addition of a second advisor

Culture is not the result of a single action from a single person; it is the collection of small actions over a long time until the group accepts it as habit. A single action cannot change it, but a series of small actions has the ability to do so. Dance Marathon has experienced a strong culture in its history and DM20 strengthened it by the many actions done by countless individuals.  

At its core, this organization is individuals coming together as a community to improve the lot of others and DM20 helped bolster this foundation for years to come.