The Shield sat down with Amanda Davidson, president of the Riley Dance Marathon, and asked for her thoughts as the fundraising event draws near. The senior health administration major shared what the Saturday event means to her and what to expect.
The Shield: How long have you been involved in Dance Marathon?
Amanda Davidson: This is my eighth year. I’ve been involved since my freshman year of high school. Since I’m a senior, this will be my last time, so it’s bittersweet.
The Shield: Can you describe Dance Marathon for anyone who doesn’t know what it is?
Davidson: Dance Marathon is a large nonprofit organization for Riley Hospital. We have a 10-hour marathon where we stand for those who can’t. We have nonstop games and entertainment. It’s the best night of your life.
The Shield: What has kept you so involved in Dance Marathon for such a long time?
Davidson: I was a Riley kid, so it impacted me before I was part of DM. When things happen to you and your family you’ve got to keep moving forward. You remember the memories but then when you realize it impacts so many other people, it’s not about you. I was a Riley kid, so it impacted me before I was part of DM. When things happen to you and your family you’ve got to keep moving forward. You remember the memories but then when you realize it impacts so many other people, it’s not about you.
The Shield: What’s a Dance Marathon like?
Davidson: There is truly no other feeling than being in a marathon. The way that it shapes you, it changes your life. It’s one day to be the most selfless person.
The Shield: How do you keep motivated through the night?
Davidson: Sometimes the morale gets kind of low, but we have morale leaders to keep us hyped through the night. We end each hour with a Riley story, so we hear why we’re dancing and standing for the next hour. This is one day, and they have to deal with this for a lifetime.
The Shield: What’s new this year?
Davidson: We’re having the mayor and awesome guests. We have a rave with a DJ this year, and we’re setting higher goals. Our goal is $50,000 this year. There’s not a doubt in my mind that we can do it.
The Shield: What would you say to someone unsure about going?
Davidson: Come to Marathon. A lot of people are not sure and don’t want to stand for 10 hours, but we’re there to have fun and love each other and have a good time. You can ask anyone who’s been, it’s not like anything you’ve ever experienced before. When you look at everybody on stage who’s worked so incredibly hard, you see people passionate about this. That’s what drew me in, and I hope that’s what people take away—passion.