For the Kids: A Dance Marathon Reflection by Ryan Engesser ’15

At the beginning of November, nearly 8 months of planning and coordination culminated itself for the St. Norbert College Dance Marathon organization. They put on the first ever Dance Marathon event at St. Norbert College, a 13.1 hour celebration. The day was comprised of dancing, activities, and speakers. The ultimate goal behind everything was raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Between the organization and the 300+ participants, $21,372.01 was raised!

To learn more about the event itself, read our previous blog Dance for a Chance & IgKnight Hope – Dance Marathon 2013!

Below is a reflection of the event by Dance Marathon Co-President, Ryan Engesser ‘15.


One of the most powerful moments of the event was when all of the participants got together and performed the morale dance. Seeing over 200 students come together and perform the same dance to keep each others’ energy up was amazing. At the end of the dance everyone said the same chant:

SNC, what do we say?
Believe in miracles everyday!
For the Kids, that’s why we dance,
13 hours to give them a chance.

I got chills every single time. Everyone was yelling it at the top of their lungs and you could really feel the genuine emotion from everyone in the gym.

My favorite moment of the entire event was the closing ceremony, specifically during the thank you circle. At the beginning of the day, each dancer was given a hospital bracelet from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. They may not have known what it was for, but during the thank you circle everything made sense. During this ceremony, the DM team went dancer-to-dancer thanking each one of them for attending and staying on their feet for the entire 13.1 hours. As they were thanked, Nicole Haupert (DM Co-President), explained that when the dancers were given these bracelets at the beginning of the event, it was a metaphor for taking on the burden that each one of our miracle children live with on a daily basis. To conclude the event, the co-presidents went to each dancer and cut their hospital bracelet off. This symbolized that the dancers-through their fundraising efforts and interactions with our miracle children-have provided relief to the children of the hospital. There were more tears shed during these 10 minutes than the entire event combined. I cannot explain the emotion I felt as I went to each dancer, looked them in the eye, and thanked them for joining me in this experience. My whole body was numb. I don’t think I have ever felt more full and complete in my entire life. Everything just came together. One circle…one cause…and the power of one community’s effort, sweat, and tears… all joining hands in one amazing moment that wrapped up 13.1 hours of fighting…For the Kids.

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