In high school, my school never had anything close to Dance Marathon. Once college rolled around, I knew I had to sign up during Block Party, which is a tabling event for all the clubs on campus during the first week of classes. Since then, I have never regretted that decision. Even now, I still feel the same way after my second marathon here at Butler. Dance Marathon is hard work, but the outcome is worth the sweat.

This past weekend, I got to participate in my third Dance Marathon ever. The summer before I was a senior in high school, I visited Indiana University Bloomington. While I was there, my friend and I thought that we were just going to get her I.D. and do some pretty generic "college things", but we ended up learning about Dance Marathon instead. For those who do not know, Dance Marathon is essentially a way for college kids (really anyone) to raise money for Riley's Hospital for Children. Riley Hospital helps children with just about any medical issue that one can think of. This philanthropy is not only an amazing experience but something that is so close to my heart. So when I was at IU, I realized that I wanted to make a difference in a child's life and help them for the better. I got to participate in IU's Dance Marathon from 2014, which let me tell you is intense compared to Butler's.

So why do I dance? Why have I been partaking in Dance Marathon for so long?

I do it because I want to help make a difference in a child's life. As the saying goes, "we dance for those, who cannot." I have had multiple family members pass away, whether it be from cancer or some other medical issue, and I miss them every day. So knowing that I am helping raise money for a family, research, or anything in between, is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. This past Saturday, I stood and danced at Butler's Health Recreational Center for thirteen and a half hours. Not just twelve, but over thirteen because I could. This year, I had the opportunity to keep morale up. I was tired myself and mentally exhausted after a week of hell, however, I managed to persevere knowing the outcome would mean so much to me. I did not raise as much money as I would have liked, but at the end of the day, I still knew that I was making a difference by being there and seeing the smiles on the kids' faces as they ran around the HRC. The atmosphere never ceases to amaze me. No matter how tired everyone is, we all stand on our feet for the full twelve hours and we do it because we love it.

So that is why I dance. I dance to make a difference in someone's life. I dance to know that one day children born with a medical phenomenon will one day be able to achieve their destiny. I dance to put the joy back into a family's life.