They Call us a Cult

I joined Dance Marathon four years ago, which blows my mind. Four years ago, I took a chance on an organization that mixed two of the things that bring me the most peace in the world: dancing and giving. I didn’t think those two things could be mixed. Now I sit in front a computer screen, hoping I can sum up the gift that Dance Marathon has given to me.
“I could tell you what the whole event entails and all of the hard work people put in, but until you personally feel the overwhelming sense of joy, passion, sadness, loss, and all of the other emotions that come with, it won’t be as real”, Jasmine Sronkoski, Senior, Morale Captain.

When I first joined DM as a dancer, I felt pressure to raise money, to reach that dollar goal I longed to feel the day the way eBoard and Morale felt it. So, I applied my junior year to be a Morale Captain. You know, those crazy people that stay awake and go nuts on the ‘day of.” Yep, that was me. My only regret was not applying sooner.”

I spent a year with more than 30 other students trying to raise money, recruit dancers, and stay pumped even when things became stressful. I became friends with people on eBoard who ate, slept, and breathed DM and found a new appreciation for the organization. I looked at their passion for the kids more than the money, for the families more than our total and felt my own passion growing. You know who you are Outreach, Fundraising, Entertainment & Logistics, Special Events & Alumni, Family Relations, Morale & Dancer Relations, PR & Graphic Design, and Presidents. You aren’t even just my friends or my team anymore, you’re my freaking family.

“This year was a lot more emotional for me than it has been in years past. I think, this year, everything really clicked. From the Miracle Family involvement, to the leadership team, to the dancers, I have never felt more mission driven, and I think that came through in our total,” Neil Bingham, senior, Moral and Dancer Relations Chair said.

So, I celebrated my final Dance Marathon with an amazing group of people with a grand total of $216, 061.23 all for our kiddos and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. I will continue dancing and donating, but as an alumni. So, I write this in hopes of carrying on the DM legacy and goal of making miracles. If you decided to pick up this paper, and for some reason read my article, I have something to share with you. Join Dance Marathon. It is the best decision I made at this school. I know that’s cliché, and everyone says it, but from a senior to everyone who gets another year, or two, or three, find what you love to do and do it as soon as possible.

There is this really awesome kid who joined Dance Marathon and took on the responsibilities of Morale Captain as a first-year. He inspires me. The leadership team is frequently asked to share why we dance, and I think his ‘why’ is awesome. So even though a lot of great people are graduating, and won’t be able to be here for Loras College Dance Marathon 13, there are some awesome people like this kid who will be.

“When asked ‘Why do I dance,’” said Sronkoski, “I always lean to one answer … I dance for the people who are no longer able to dance. This includes the kiddos who are with us, but don’t have the ability to dance, but this is truly about our Miracle Angels. It is these kids that truly fuel my flame.”

Maybe you haven’t been personally touched by Dance Marathon, but if you open your heart to the cause, it may surprise you. We aren’t a cult, but if celebrating the strength of awesome kiddos and Miracle families, dancing like maniacs, a building strong, beautiful relationships with classmates who I now consider family makes it a cult, then count me in.
Thanks for everything DM. You changed me.

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