|FTK All day, Every day|
With about two weeks to go before the big weekend -the BIG weekend- some worry may be setting in.
Perhaps even some second thoughts like “What did I sign myself up for?” and "How am I going to stand for so long?"
FEAR NOT, first-time IU Dance Marathon participant, this is the official IUDM survival guide and all that you need to know before heading into the Tennis Center on November 14th.
Disney World may be the happiest place on earth, but IUDM would beg to differ. Make sure to wear your spirit on your sleeve- literally- and dress in your team’s color. Accessories like tutus, tall socks, headwear, face decals and more are all great options. Also keep an eye out for the IUDM theme hours, in which you and all of the other dancers dress to impress according to the chosen theme of the hours. A personal favorite from last year was Groutfit (“grey outfit”)- monochrome sweatshirts and sweatpants never looked so great or felt so cozy.
To cover the basics, however, make absolutely sure that you have comfortable shoes to sport throughout the duration of the marathon. Tennis shoes are a must, but I also suggest brining multiple pairs to give your feet some variation in foot support. Cushy slippers are a great break from harder-soled options, and some people even bring heels as a way to switch their body weight to the balls of their feet for a change. Another common practice: rolling your foot over a tennis or golf ball to alleviate tension. Pop either in your bag for the marathon and thank me later. You can even get one by purchasing a care package at www.iudm.org/carepackage! Foot support may sound trivial now, but trust me, come hour 10 you will be begging to give your feet whatever break you can give them.
Equally important is to wear comfortable clothing for the marathon. Leggings, socks, undergarments, and any other clothing that is too tight will undoubtedly start to pester you. A sure fire bet is to wear comfortable leggings, athletic shorts, yoga pants, or sweat pants with your spirit tank or tee of choice. Furthermore, bring some options to change into at the marathon, just in case. A sweatshirt if and when it gets chilly or shorts in case you get warm! Plus, a fresh change of clothing will feel great after dancing around in the same threads for hours on end.
While there is plenty to do at the marathon itself, bringing a few items to keep you busy is a sure way to keep your mind off of your aching back and on something else. Pack coloring books, Sudoku, a football to throw around, a good read, thread to make friendship bracelets, or whatever suits your fancy to keep yourself focused. And of course, don’t forget a phone charger! Be warned that outlets will be a hot commodity during the marathon, so to cover your bases, you may want to consider bringing or investing in a portable charger!
Thirty-six hour dancers get VIP access to the indoor bathroom facilities in the Tennis Center, while 18 hour dancers use the port-a-potties outside. If you are a 36 hour dancer, pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, or anything else from your usual routine that will help you feel fresh and perky. Thirty-six hour dancers even have the opportunity to shower if they please. While the line will be long for this option, come prepared with shower goods and a towel in case you decide a quick rinse is calling your name! Eighteen hour dancers: bring hand sanitizer and consider picking up the packaged, no-water-needed, to-go tooth brushes.
4. What Not to Bring
Leave at home anything expensive that you won’t have on you throughout the entire marathon. You won’t want to hassle with making sure it’s safe should you decide to take it off or leave it in your bag.
Yes, this is a collegiate event, but no, that does not mean that this is an opportunity to booze. IUDM is strictly a drug and alcohol free environment. We’re there for kids at Riley Hospital for Children, many of which will actually be attending the marathon and mingling with students. Anyone found to be under the influence of any substance will immediately be asked to leave the marathon.
And of course, above all, leave your bad attitude at the door! DO bring a good attitude to the marathon! We’re here to participate in something larger than ourselves and stand for the kids who can’t. Don’t forget how much it means to the Riley kids and families to see you staying on your feet in their honor!
An entire IUDM committee is devoted to making sure you are well fed while at the marathon. And while there are frequent food rotations for you to get a snack, I will give you the heads up that portions are small. If you have a sturdy appetite (and you will while you’re standing, dancing, and burning all of those calories), bring some supplemental snacks with you. Keep them healthy and good sources of energy.
You’ve heard it before: junk food will make you lethargic, while natural options will fuel you to stay on your feet. I suggest Quest Nutrition bars, apples, almonds, and other snacks of the like.
In the consideration of “rather safe than sorry,” bring something like ibuprofen in case you find yourself nursing aches and pains, and band-aids for potential blisters.
Finally, beware of caffeine and energy drinks. Use discretion with these stimulants and base what you decide to bring and use at the marathon on your normal caffeine needs. Keep in mind that too much caffeine can leave you feeling less than your best, not to mention the crash that may catch up with you after it wears off!
6. Miscellaneous Factoids and What to Expect
- There is ample free time in between rotations to hang out with friends and meet new people!
- Visitors are allowed in a gated designated area within the Tennis Center. Encourage your friends to bring you
warm food, cold drinks, and motivational pep talks!
- “This is called ‘Dance’ Marathon. Do we dance the whole time? Do I bring a date?” The “Dance” part of the
title is attributed to a 10 minute “line dance” that you will learn part by part in large group rotations. The
moves are easy, comical, and made for everyone. The “Marathon” title is attributed to the fact that you will
be on your feet, whether dancing, standing, playing a game, etc, for 18+ hours
- Get into the line dance! Throwing yourself into nailing the moves is a great part of IUDM and the
choreographed dance and songs are always bumpin’. Dance like no one is watching because everyone else
- There IS a way to get time to lie down during the marathon. By buying a care package through IUDM ahead
of time (they sell out). If you are a 36 hour dancer, you can get up to 4 “massage” times, or four 30 minute
periods of pure bliss, lying on the ground of the Tennis Center while committee members kneed your back
and legs with massage tools. Expect to pass out… immediately.
- “FTK!” will be chanted repeatedly, standing for “For the Kids!”
- The marathon consists of happy, sad, exciting, exhausting, and thought-provoking moments; it’s a
unique, life-changing experience and you should be so proud of yourself for participating!
For any other questions you may have, ask around campus or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may be surprised at how many people have participated in IUDM and how eager they will be to share their experience and answer your questions.
Get excited for your first IUDM and FTK! See you there!
Written By Meredith Baranowski
1. The day is finally here! IUDM 2014. And you've finally walked into the tennis center.
2. Eye of the Tiger signifies the beginning of IUDM 2014.
3. Being told you have to use a port-o-potty if you aren't a 36 hour dancer.
4. Learning the line dance for the first time.
5. When your food delivery finally gets to the Tennis Center.
6. When security sees a person body surfing during the rave.
7. How you feel during the Riley Talent Show.
8. When you get a donation at the marathon.
9. You then hit your moment of weakness.
10. At one point, you think you should sit down.
11. So you rub golf balls on your feet and love the way it feels.
12. Then you stand and listen to Riley family stories.
13. Waiting to show off the final line dance.
14. Finally, the total goes up...
15. After which you come home to all your roommates who have been sleeping all weekend.
16. Before falling into bed after the marathon.
17. When it's all said and done, but you can't wait to start the countdown for IUDM 2015.
Written by Sarah Baum, Public Relations
It was the fall of 2012, and I was bored and lonely. I requested the 11pm-2am shadowing shift at the ER, so I would have something to do on Friday nights, if that tells you anything. My interest in medicine was just blossoming, so I studied hard and didn’t do much else. Adding to my already copious amounts of alone time, I had a passion for endurance sports. I had completed my first Ironman Triathlon the previous summer and did all of my hundreds of hours of training on my own. Though these are perfectly noble endeavors for a 19 year old, I was left thoroughly unsatisfied. I felt nothing I did made any difference to anyone else. I felt like I had potential to make a difference to other people that I wasn’t using. I find young folk are generally instilled with the notion that this one must “pay dues” before being able to help people in any meaningful way. She didn’t know it at the time, but one of my best friends, and my current director Janaki Patel, showed me this wasn’t the case.
Janaki is a passionate person, but her fire for IUDM is more prominent than pumpkin spice in October. She gushed to anyone that would listen about IUDM. She would preach about how students, the ones who were supposed to be keeping their heads down and moving up the ranks, raised millions of dollars to ensure that children of Indiana received life-saving medical care. Through this organization, Janaki was able to apply her passion for generally being an amazing person to make a real tangible difference in the world. She didn’t need to wait around for a degree to tell her she could. Seeing this pushed me to stop keeping my head down, but instead look the world in the eye.
Inspired by Janaki, I interviewed for Riley Development and was fortunately accepted. I wanted to help these kids. They had endured years of cancer treatments, life threatening surgeries, and struggles that most of us are lucky enough to be free of. I did not have an M.D., or even a B.S., but I could swim and I could bike and I could run. So that’s what I did. I completed by second Ironman triathlon in 2013, but this time it had a purpose (FTK!). I raised approximately $6000 this way. In the summer of 2014, I completed my second Ironman triathlon FTK. In October of 2014 I completed the Chicago Marathon FTK. I’m not exaggerating when I say those 300+ miles were more rewarding than any victory or personal record I have ever previously accomplished. I wasn’t racing alone anymore because I wasn’t moving for me. I was moving for my DM family, the Riley families, and, most of all, for the kids.
Before joining the DM family, I felt like maybe three people would notice if I transferred from Indiana University to another school. Now, I struggle with the fact that I’m leaving town in May and can’t take all of my friends with me. Every day I will, at the very least, receive a text from a Riley D’er that makes me smile like I found $20 in my pocket. Joining this organization, I never expected to find such love. I wanted college laughs and memories and stories and all that, and I got them with DM. But I also got something more enduring: Friends that I will keep for the rest of my life.
Written by Brooks Platt, Riley Develpopment
In 36 days, we will begin standing 36 hours For Ryan, For Ashley and For The Kids. We have much to be excited about during the next 36 days as we get closer to the marathon, whether we’re committee members, dancers, Riley families or simply supporters. Here’s what our family is looking forward to in 36 days:
1. Starting off the marathon with “Eye of the Tiger” (Alli Martino, Public Relations)
2. Seeing the Riley Kids Talent Show (Maddie Elman, Fundraising)
3. Dancing the line dance (Erica Ewen, Recruitment)
4. Bonding with the committee members (Allie Michel, Stewardship)
5. Talking to the Riley Kids and hearing their stories (Kelsey Bardach, Hillel)
6. Dancing alongside my sisters for such a great cause (Nikki Naiman, Delta Phi Epsilon)
7. The chance to meet thousands of new friends (Conner Sunday, Public Relations)
8. Laughing and playing with the kids (Christina Harkleroad, Alpha Sigma Alpha)
9. Spending 36 hours with my committee (Leslie Palans, Recruitment)
10. Hanging out in the Riley D area (Kristi Rose, Public Relations)
11. The Riley Kids Talent Show – a favorite (Molly Flood, Marketing)
12. Two words: Line. Dance. (Matt Weisman, Public Relations)
13. Meeting some alumni and hearing their stories (Sydney Ellison, Alumni Relations)
14. Spending time with friends and making new ones all for a good cause (Jared Reilly, Accounting)
15. Hearing all the Riley stories and getting to meet the kids (Lindsey Fleischman, Logistics)
16. Raising money for a good cause with my best friends (Kristin Budzik, Alpha Sigma Alpha)
17. Socializing with the kids and the families (Brianna Lerme, Riley Development)
18. Celebrating the end of my committee’s first year with the marathon (Stephanie Hnat, Stewardship)
19. Seeing the young boy with leukemia that I introduced to IUDM, Joey Worzala, and his sister,
Melanie, visit and dance at the marathon with me (Austin Galm, Alumni Relations)
20. Getting closer with the people on my committee and other committees (Julie Schultz, Morale)
21. The emotions that fill the room at the moment the total is revealed (Lindsey Chervitz, Corporate
22. Dancing with my fraternity brothers and committee members, Riley Kids and food (Dennis Grishin,
23. The end of the marathon when we’re in the circle for “Angels Among Us” (Kaitlyn Ley, Merchandising and Apparel)
24. Being with my committee as a family for one last time and seeing what all of our hard work and dedication over the year has done when we see the total raised on Sunday morning (Caylee Adams, Marathon Relations)
25. Hearing all the amazing stories from the families (Marni O’Daniel, Public Relations)
26. Seeing different groups from all over campus uniting for one cause (Briana Felsen, Riley
27. Seeing how much money the IU community raised for Riley (Emily Bichl, Merchandising and Apparel)
28. Being a part of something bigger than all of us (Abby Chason, Alpha Sigma Alpha)
29. The overwhelming and indescribable sense of family that you get in that tennis center. Whether its your first exposure to IUDM, or you’ve been with the organization for years, it’s one family coming together with the one goal to impact and improve the lives of others, that every person is apart of. (Molly Brunner, Morale)
30. Getting to spend 36 hours with strangers who have become my best friends, and best friends who have became my family. (Josie Tanner, Stewardship)
31. Getting to know the Riley kids (Jackie Pavlofsky, Alpha Epsilon Phi)
32. Seeing everyone do the line dance together (Jason Gross, Morale)
33. Getting to see how exciting the kids are to have all of us dancing there for them (Alyssa Darmon, Delta Delta Delta)
34. Maison Kurmay’s dance moves during the Riley Kid Talent Show (Ryan Cason, Morale)
35. Getting to be apart of the best rave in the nation (Jay Morrisson, Morale)
36. Seeing 11 months of hard work pay off when the everyone gathers and the total is raised at the end (Alex Elias, Accounting)
Everyone has something to look forward to at IUDM, and in 36 days, it will all become reality. 36 days until we come together in the tennis center. 36 days until we see all the results of all our hard work and effort over the past year. 36 days until we really make miracles happen. 36 days until 36 hours. FTK.
Written by Alyssa Schor
This year, we have been so blessed and excited to welcome Nicole Martins and Andrew Weaver, two Telecom professors at IU, to our IUDM family as the new faculty advisors!
While Nicole and Andrew our new to our Dance Marathon family, they have been deeply intertwined with the hospital as a Riley family since 2009, after their son Owen was born early at 27 weeks gestation, 13 weeks before his set due date in June of 2009.
After being born so early, Owen had no heartbeat and was not breathing. Thankfully, the doctors were able to quickly revive him and have him airlifted to Riley, where he would spend the next four months in the NICU. While at Riley, Nicole’s and Andrew’s new baby boy would fight off two infections that would nearly claim his life, a brain bleed, and eye issues that almost caused him to go blind. After fighting through these medical issues, Owen was finally strong enough to come home a week after his initial due date.
Thanks to Riley, Owen is able to now in kindergarten and is going to celebrate his 5th birthday with his parents and his baby brother Elliot!
“I truly believe that if Owen was born any where else, he would not have made it. I feel completely indebted to Riley for giving me my son,” Nicole said while describing her Riley experience.
Nicole and Andrew are extremely excited to participate in this year’s Dance Marathon, where they will be able to give back to the hospital that gave them a life full of joy in Owen.
“Andrew and I are in awe of what you all do each year to make miracles happen for other Riley children and their families,” Nicole said.
Written by Paige Hergenrother
This past Thursday night the IUDM community came together in Alumni Hall for the third annual Runway Riley. The yearly event debuts new apparel for the upcoming marathon. This event is presented by IUDM's Apparel and Merchandising committee. Riley Children showcase the new apparel by using their best modeling skills and taking the runway in the new apparel that is sold after the event is over.
The night started off with a short speech from Miss Riley Lesh, a patient at Riley Children’s Hospital, where she listed the top 10 reasons you should join the IUDM family. One of the reasons being that any kid could help you meet a cute girl or boy you’re too shy to go up to. After Riley finished her speech the much anticipated fashion show began.
Riley children started coming out one-by-one accompanied by committee member. Each person wore a piece of IUDM’s new apparel designed for this year’s marathon. As the kids came out on the runway we learned what they each wished for. Their answers ranged from wishing no child would ever have to go through what they went through to wishing it would rain fruit.
When the show ended, the doors opened to expose a room filled with the merchandise that had been showcased by the Riley models. Floods of IUDM participants rushed in to get in line to purchase their new IUDM apparel. This year there were two sweatshirts (a blue half-zip and a white full-zip), a long-sleeved t-shirt, a short-sleeved t-shirt, and a tank top. Novelty items such as baseball caps, a Camelback water bottle, and two decal stickers.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend Runway for Riley, but still want to purchase IUDM’s new apparel don’t worry, the marathon is only 44 days away and you’ll be able to purchase all of the merchandise shown at this years marathon!
Written by Kaitlin Gerringer