Kent State University held its annual 12 hour dance marathon, Flash-A-Thon, on April 2, 2016. The purpose of this dance marathon is to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. You dance, play games, win prizes and stand for those who can't. It's nothing short of a great time, but it is also quite the experience.
12 hours is a long time, especially when you can't sit down. A 12 hour dance marathon sounds like a nonstop party, but anyone who has participated in one knows it's more like a roller coaster. You're up, you're down, and a little more than half way through, you're probably in a corkscrew or even upside down. So here are the stages you experience during a 12-hour dance marathon.
Stage 1: Excitement
You're pumped to be participating; 12 hours of dancing is way better than working on that 10 page paper you have due on Tuesday. You arrive right on time, check in, and instantly start warming up your dance moves.
Stage 2: Commitment
The event has hardly even begun. You're pulling out all your middle-school-glory-day dance moves and having a great time. It's only 1 p.m. and you made sure to get a good night's sleep so that you could conquer this event. You're committed to dancing all 12 hours, and so far, you're on a roll. You're entering raffles, participating in all the games, and doing your very best to show your support and commitment to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Stage 3: Hope
It's still early in your 12 hour dance party. You're eager to see what the rest of the marathon has to offer. It's a little tiring dancing nonstop, but your excitement immediately kicks back in when you see that the first meal has arrived. Food is exactly what you needed to keep your attitude up and your dance moves top notch.
Stage 4: Love
This is when you get to meet the family. The most beautiful example of who you are working your over-stressed college body for; you are standing for those who can't. You're instantly flooded with more energy because you get to see, in person, a child you are personally helping.
Stage 5: Weird
At this point you've kind of run out of dance moves. There have been a lot of games, but you're slowly losing your motivation for playing games because you can't really handle the pressure. You start framing your face and repeating the morale dance every few minutes, because it keeps you from embarrassingly trying to do some sad dance move from the early 2000s like Soulja Boy or the Dougie.
Stage 6: Confidence
Now, confidence is key at 12 hour dance marathons. Everyone is there because they care and want to make a difference in the world. No one cares about your dance moves, because everyone is busy enjoying themselves. You're having a blast with your friends and petting all the therapy dogs you were blessed with for the next hour. You feel on top of the world, then they announce the hair donations. The confidence and excitement of the day consumes you and you decide to cut 12 inches of your hair off; one for each hour, right? As much as the adrenaline will wear off later, you can never understand the joy you just brought to a child by donating your hair.
Stage 7: Tired
You've never gone to the bathroom more in your life, but now you're taking a break every 15 minutes to give your legs some rest. This break not only helps your tired legs but also your tired mind, because they are playing "Work" by Rihanna for the fifth time and that's too much for anyone in a seven hour period.
Stage 8: Denial
You start to question your sanity. Why did you think that you were mentally and/or physically prepared for 12 hours of dancing and not sitting? The only thing you can possibly do for 12 hours without losing your mind is sleeping, and that's probably because you're unconscious. But then you remember it's for the kids.
Stage 9: Disorientation
Exhaustion starts to hit in and you're getting a little hangry. You've only really eaten carbs today and your body is fighting you. The back of your mind just tells you to curl up in a ball and take a quick nap in the bathroom, no one will ever know.
Stage 10: Optimism
You're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Your 12 hour dance craze is so close to being over. You think back to the time you've spent here so far and you feel a wave of optimism and love rush over you. You suddenly realize how much you have to be thankful for: your health, family, and friends. You're optimistic not only for the night coming to an end so you can go curl up in your bed, but also for the hope of bright and healthy lives of the beautiful children you're helping.
Stage 11: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Nothing can clearly explain this hour of your life. It's like you drank 15 five-hour energies and you don't know how to handle life. Your dance moves are at an all time high in your opinion because you're so consumed with energy. You've reached the slap happy stage. You're so exhausted that you're becoming a little loopy. The night is almost over, so you're trying to enjoy every minute of it. I mean, hey, you did learn several line dances, and now you can show off those moves at The Dusty. The Kent Clarks even preformed, so you've had quite an exciting 11 hours.
Stage 12: Pride
This is it: the final hour. They reveal the grand total of $31,264.42. You are suddenly consumed with pride. You're proud of your school for raising so much money. You're proud of yourself for not only sticking to the whole 12 hours but also for doing the best you can to help others. You just spent 12 hours of your life dancing and having the time of your life. The best part is, it was all For The Kids.