Carolina Productions Grad Assistant believes Dance Marathon is a “fantastic cause that empowers college students”

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Name: Chelsea Ball

Role at USC: Carolina Productions Graduate Assistant

Alma Mater: University of Central Florida

Length of  Dance Marathon (hours): 16

What was your past involvement with Dance Marathon?

I fundraised for our Knight-Thon (Dance Marathon) throughout my four years of undergrad and I participated in the event my Senior Year  (2012)

What  was your most memorable Dance Marathon experience?

Definitely meeting our Miracle child my team sponsored. We were able to play with her throughout the night and it really touched my heart in so many ways. Seeing how happy she and her family were to be there is something I will never forget!

How has participating in Dance Marathon left an impact on your personal life or career?

Service has always been really important to me, but participating in our Knight-Thon was something that left a really big impact on me. I will continue to support Dance Marathon’s at my Alma Mater and whatever institution I end up at. It is a fantastic cause that empowers college students to stand up for those who may not be able to.

Why is Dance Marathon such a great way for students to get involved on campus?

There are just so many ways to get involved and participate in Dance Marathon. Students have the opportunity to take on a leadership position, join the Morale committee, participate in the event or even cheer and support their friends by donating. There’s different ways to get involved for everyone. It is also an event that students can get a group of friends together and make their own team.

One item you wouldn’t attend Dance Marathon without:

A very very large sugar-free red bull!

Favorite theme hour?

We had a country music hour where our line-dancing club came and taught all of the participants a line dance. It’s one of my favorite things to do, so being able to line dance with my teammates and other friends for an entire hour who may not have ever line danced otherwise was so much fun!

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Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs believes “Dance Marathon is a Community”

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Name:  Gavin Weiser

Role at USC: Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Alma Mater: Florida State University

Length of  Dance Marathon (hours): 36 Hours

What was your past involvement with Dance Marathon?

I was a dancer for two years and served on overall committee for a while before I had to withdraw due to personal issues.

What  was your most memorable Dance Marathon experience?

Seeing all the friends and professional staff that came to visit me, or buying our team-representative out of jail. That was funny and I have some awesome pictures from that!

How has participating in Dance Marathon left an impact on your personal life or career?

Being able to say I participated in something that is so well-known across the country is certainly a plus. It taught me commitment and to care about issues that may not necessarily affect me directly. It was also a really fun time, so personally some of the memories I have doing it with my teammates is certainly a boon!

Why is Dance Marathon such a great way for students to get involved on campus?

Because it’s a community. You are there with many other people who are, like you, giving up part of their weekend to raise money for kids in need. What better place to find other people who are passionate about making the world a better place than USC Dance Marathon! It’s the ONLY place to be the first weekend in March!

 One item you wouldn’t attend Dance Marathon without:

Books, though in my time there were no iPhones, so perhaps that’s changed the face of entertainment during the event!

Favorite theme hour?

I can’t remember if we had theme hours, but a pirate theme would be fun! You could even play music from Pirates of the Caribbean!

Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life is FTK

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Name: Katie Spell Hambrick

Role at USC: Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Alma Mater: Elon University

Length of  Dance Marathon (hours): 24 hours

What was your past involvement with Dance Marathon?

I first did Dance Marathon as a sophomore with my best friend Jill, and we did the full 24 hours. After that I participated as a junior and senior in 6 hour shifts (Elon allowed for people to do a 6 hour shift or 24 hours). As a leader in my sorority, I helped pass a policy that mandated participation by everyone in our chapter in the event. I believed that since our philanthropy was children’s cancer research, it was important to participate in any event that supported a similar cause right there in our state.

What was your most memorable Dance Marathon experience?

One of the miracle families that I remember the most was a dad who was an Elon alum and got really fired up when he came to speak about his daughter’s experience at Duke Children’s Hospital. His daughter, Leigha, had fortunately survived childhood cancer with the help of Duke Children’s Hospital, and he always brought her with him. Last year I was watching a video that Elonthon tweeted out and realized that Leigha joined my chapter! I cried with happiness in my office over what a full circle moment that was….that his daughter had not only overcome such a battle but then grew up to have the same experience that many of the Elonthon dancers were fortunate enough to have.

How has participating in Dance Marathon left an impact on your personal life or career?

Being awake and standing for 24 hours is TOUGH! Elonthon taught me to push myself for a greater cause. I have certainly been put in those situations at work where I am tired mentally and physically (although nothing quite like Elonthon- except for recruitment), but I know I have to keep going because my work matters to the experiences of the students I get to work with.

Why is Dance Marathon such a great way for students to get involved on campus?

Dance Marathon is probably the most fun way to get involved on campus- 24 hours of people who care about other people, great music, inspiring stories, tons of free food, and a safe environment. Why wouldn’t you do it?

One item you wouldn’t attend Dance Marathon without: 

Several pairs of socks- it can make a difference on your achy feet to be able to change!

Favorite theme hour?

I’m on board with anything patriotic, so I love America hour. God bless the USA!

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Member of USCPD reflects on his DM experience

Did you know that some of our USC Staff members participated in Dance Marathon during their undergraduate days? Stay tuned each Wednesday in January to learn about their involvement and why they think YOU should be involved too.

 

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Name:   Vinny Bocchino

Role at USC:   Emergency Management Coordinator, Division of Law Enforcement and Safety

Alma Mater:   Florida State University

Length of  Dance Marathon (hours):   32

What was your past involvement with Dance Marathon?

Assistant Event Manager, Event Manager, and Overall Director

What  was your most memorable Dance Marathon experience?

During my senior year, we raised $275,000, a $50,000 increase from the previous year.

How has participating in Dance Marathon left an impact on your personal life or career?

The skills used to plan and manage an event are surprisingly similar to the skills used to plan and manage an emergency. It’s about attention to detail, thinking through the logistics, and building relationships. The lessons I learned participating in Dance Marathon are still serving me well today.

Why is Dance Marathon such a great way for students to get involved on campus?

As part of the overall committee, you are running a non-profit organization: managing budgets, soliciting donations, building a donor base, creating marketing plans, and planning and executing a large-scale event.  You can’t learn these skills and experiences in a classroom.

One item you wouldn’t attend Dance Marathon without: 

A good pair of shoes, and a couple changes of socks.

Favorite theme hour?

We did the Magic of DM. I like anything Disney.

“Perspective” by Kelsey Titgen

It was an everyday occurrence. Finding some minor detail of my day that I could complain about or wishing that some part of my life was different—until that weekend freshman year that I stood 24 hours for kids that might never get the chance to stand.

 

I first heard of Dance Marathon from older girls in my sorority and to be honest, I wasn’t immediately interested. It seemed more of a hassle than something that would benefit my life in some way, but boy, was I wrong… I’m not going to sit here and tell you it was an easy 24 hours because it wasn’t. They were some of the most testing times, but it helped to have my whole pledge class there knowing that we were all doing this together. “Nobody ever said life was going to be easy, but it will definitely be worth it”, was the quote I kept repeating in my head the entire time. Yeah, it was hard to stay awake and stand for 24 hours, but it was all worth it For The Kids.

 

I was raised by amazing parents that taught me great morals and values, but I often find myself taking so many things for granted in my life. The whole journey of Dance Marathon up to this day has made me realize how much I have to be thankful for in my life. It taught me to be thankful that I have the opportunity to go to such an incredible university instead of complaining about the homework I have this weekend. It showed me how lucky I am to have the most supportive family and friends that are here for me during any hard times in my life. Most importantly, it taught me to be thankful for my health. It’s something that we all take for granted without even knowing it.

 

As I watched these kids and their families get up on stage and tell their stories I knew I wanted some part in this. It is such an incredible feeling being able to give back to people less fortunate than you, especially children. To say it was a life changing weekend is an understatement. I am so honored to be a part of this team and cannot wait to see the outcome of Dance Marathon 2013!

 

Next time you catch yourself complaining about how much you don’t want to study for your finals or some other insignificant inconvenience , I encourage you think about the kids that would do ANYTHING to be healthy enough to live the life you have. Talk about putting things into perspective.

 

 

FTK,

Kelsey Titgen