This is a special year for BuckeyeThon. This year, BuckeyeThon is trying to raise $1,000,000 For The Kids.
That’s right — 6 zeros.
The dancers are giving it their all to accomplish this incredible goal, with the hope of forever changing the lives of kids fighting cancer.
As a former participant, I am here to answer some questions I know I definitely had before doing the dance marathon. Some commonly asked questions:
What exactly is BuckeyeThon?
BuckeyeThon is Ohio State’s largest student-run philanthropy, which raises funds year-round for the fight against pediatric cancer. All of the donations go toward supporting the kids who are treated on the Hematology/Oncology/BMT Department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Some events sponsored by BuckeyeThon include CarnOval, Extra Life, High School Dance Marathon, Miracle Miles 5K and, biggest of all, BuckeyeThon: The Dance Marathon.
On February 6-7th, more than 4,000 Ohio State students will participate in the dance marathon! This is the largest number of participants to date Students are required to raise a minimum of $100 to participate, but they are encouraged to raise more. All efforts are made in order to bring the year’s goal one step closer!
I’ve never done a Dance Marathon (DM) before, what is it? And do I need to know how to dance?
A dance marathon is basically a 24-hour long event, which is broken up into two, 12-hour shifts. The Scarlet Half happens from Friday night to Saturday morning, and the Gray Half happens from Saturday morning to Saturday night. Participants choose their shift during registration.
You definitely do not need to know how to dance! No one cares what you look like dancing or what kind of crazy, wacky dance moves you have because everyone is their to support the Miracle Kids. Also, a dance marathon is a LOT more than just dancing!
Throughout the event, you will not only dance, but you can do other fun and hands-on activities as well. For example, students can meet the Miracle Kids for whom they are dancing, donate their hair, do yoga and maybe even meet Miss Ohio!
Not only are activities provided, but so is food. Dancers are given two full meals and a snack during the event. So don’t worry about packing a meal, but definitely pack a snack, just in case.
Why should I do it?
If you’re still asking yourself that after I just described all these awesome events, just remember:
What should I wear?
Everyone is put on a color team, so you basically wear the colors of your team. I would suggest having fun with your outfits because people go all out for this event! And, this might be only time in your life that you can wear a tutu for almost 12 hours.
Dress (comfortably) to impress! I suggest you wear comfortable shoes. You will be required to stand for the whole shift, and thus sensible footwear is a must.
Also: if you own a fanny pack, this is the time to blow the dust off of it and put it to good use! Fanny packs are so handy because they don’t interfere with your ability to dance and have fun and they also can hold important items such as your phone and some money.
What should I bring?
- Phone and Charger: You need that phone to be fully charged so that you can document all the fun you’re having! (Pictures or it didn’t happen, right?)
- Cash or Credit: So you can wear some of BuckeyeThon’s apparel, and look super fly after the DM
- Snacks: Cannot emphasize this enough, you’ll need to keep your energy up for 12 hours, it’s good to be prepared
- Deoderant: I’ll just leave it at that
Any other tips?
Make sure you get plenty of sleep before your shift! Remember this is a marathon and no one starts a marathon running on a couple hours of sleep.
Meet someone new at the DM. Being in the Union for 12 hours, you’re bound to meet someone new and who knows, maybe by the end of your shift, you could leave with a new friend.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN! The Dance Marathon only happens once every year and what better way to kick off spring semester than by supporting BuckeyeThon and taking a stand against pediatric cancer.
Last year, I participated in the Dance Marathon and it was definitely the highlight of my freshman year. I remember the opening ceremony where we got to meet all the Miracle Kids, and they were so adorable and looked so happy to be there! I knew at that moment that I was not only doing it for them but I was also doing it to for their families.
I danced and laughed the night away. During the event, I got the chance to meet so many inspirational dancers whose families have been affected by pediatric cancer. Listening to their stories made me realize how important this dance marathon is to the Ohio State community and I was truly glad to be a part of it all.