» By Emily Despain

Staff Writer

It’s a little too early for a Halloween party, right? Yes, but it’s never too early for a dance marathon.

From 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, until 2 a.m. the following morning, the Red Barn was full of sweaty, dancing students in costumes.

Dance Marathon is an all-night fundraising event for the Monroe Carell Jr. Hospital at Vanderbilt

Families of children who have stayed at Vanderbilt came and spoke to the dancers and thanked them for their donations. They spoke of the trials and tribulations of having a sick child, but each of the families remained smiling and grateful, causing much of the crowd to tear up as they watched the children hide behind their parents.

Students and faculty donated to the cause and were admitted to this year’s fairytale-themed wonderland. After greeting the families and children with a cheering human tunnel, the dancing and games began.

“My favorite part of Dance Marathon is the kids and seeing their faces light up when we cheer for them because it’s not about me or anyone else working here. It’s about these kids,” said sophomore Dance Marathon worker, Morgan Cline.

Throughout the night, each hour had a new theme. Pirate hour, Disney hour and Harry Potter hour were big hits with the crowd. There were sword fights and a rousing game of Quidditch, and tons of people were thrown in “jail,” having to either dance for 20 minutes straight or raise $20 to bail themselves out.

Even in the wee hours of the morning, when the crowd had thinned, delirious laughter could still be heard from the group showing off the choreographed “Morale Dance”.

“I think everything was a huge success,” said Kyle Thompson, assistant director of event management. “The theme, attendance and money we raised were unbelievable. I was so impressed, and it can only go up from here.” TAS