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Dancing for those who can’t

Ladue exceeds its goal of raising $40,000 for its fourth annual Dance Marathon event.

Students+at+Dance+Marathon+danced+for+six+consecutive+hours+to+raise+money+for+the+Children%27s+Miracle+Network.
Students at Dance Marathon danced for six consecutive hours to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.

Students at Dance Marathon danced for six consecutive hours to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.

Photo by Claire Englander

Photo by Claire Englander

Students at Dance Marathon danced for six consecutive hours to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.

Malavika Kumaran, Writer

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Ladue students showcased their lively pairs of left feet Saturday, Feb. 4 in honor of the whopping $44,000 raised for the Children’s Miracle Network. The Dance Marathon event ran from noon to 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

The nationwide organization raises funds and awareness for children in hospitals, donating the money to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Hospital. Senior Leanna Feng, entertainment chair of the executive board for Dance Marathon, met with other board members every week from the beginning of the school year to organize decorating, advertising and sponsoring for the event.

“Ladue is one of the two high school dance marathons in the Greater St. Louis region,” Feng said. “Dancers fundraise throughout the year and at the end of the fundraising there is a Dance Marathon where the participants dance anywhere from four to 24 hours. These dancers have to stay standing for the entire time in order to stand for the kids in hospitals who cannot.”

Students had the opportunity to donate and register to participate through the dance marathon website. Individuals donated amounts ranging from $30 to $1,000. To help motivate students to donate, many teachers made various promises if Ladue succeeded in its goal of raising $40,000.

“A lot of the English department dyed their hair, ”Feng said. “Mrs. Carson and Mrs. Garavaglia wore 80s prom dresses, Mr. White wore a night of armor, Mr. Goldwasser let us shave ‘FTK’ on his head, Mr. Hill did the worm.”

Aside from donating money, students can get involved in the future in multiple ways. Sophomore Margaret Woodburn participated as a dancer in the event this year.

“[Students] can either join the executive board, which organizes the event, or the morale committee which puts together a series of dances to match the four themes of each dance marathon and teaches them to everyone each hour [of the event],” Woodburn said. “If students can’t commit to that amount of time, they can simply be dancers!”

The tremendous amount of time and effort Ladue students put into Dance Marathon has great significance for less-fortunate children. Woodburn described how the experience was extremely enjoyable and fulfilling.

“Not only is it fun to just have time to dance with friends, but you also know it’s for a great cause,” Woodburn said.  “Over the course of the six hours, four special guests came in to talk about their experiences of being helped at these hospitals and it’s so humbling to hear their stories of fighting and staying positive even when stuck in a hospital for long periods of time. Dance Marathon was a fantastic experience.”

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Dancing for those who can’t