Dance Marathon Leadership Convention 2018

Our Management Team spent three days representing DM at FSU at the Dance Marathon Leadership Convention in Indianapolis. Here's an inside scoop...


from the perspective of Andie Garcia, Executive Director:

Friday was the kickoff to what would come to be an incredibly rewarding and inspiring weekend. After a full day of traveling, we met downstairs in our hotel to have what felt like the sweetest of reunions after an entire summer of meetings through a computer screen. Then, I was off to represent the Southeast region in promotional videos for Miracle Network Dance Marathon, sharing the mission of Dance Marathon programs across the nation and what makes our cause extraordinary.

Once I wrapped up filming, our team met with Taylor Dietrich, Senior Manager for the Southeast area, who guided us through what to expect, questions we should be asking, and how to get the most out of this weekend. After this brief and personal introduction to the conference, we headed to the main ballroom for the general opening session. Imagine over 950 students and advisors from 190 campuses across the nation coming together for the first time at this much anticipated conference. The room was electric; from students reuniting with friends from other campuses to miracle children dancing their hearts out, it was clear that this weekend would be nothing less than exceptional. As programming began, keynote speakers from Miracle Network Dance Marathon welcomed and introduced us to the first of many presentations throughout the weekend.

Then began the first award ceremony. It’s almost impossible to explain the feelings and emotions we felt when our campaign release video for #UpToUs started playing on the screen for a room of over 950 people. As we sat in complete awe, staff explained how this campaign transformed DM at FSU and the magnetic effect it had on our campus. The walk from the very back of the room to the stage to accept our Campaign Activation Award felt like it was in slow motion; the roar of applause and the standing ovation immediately made us realize that everything we do in our community and on our campus has a ripple effect across the country.

Finally, the much anticipated shirt swap began. Immediately, madness ensued as students stood on chairs to auction off their program’s shirts for others. One girl shoved 7 shirts my way for one of our UpToUs tank tops. While anyone will admit that this swap tends to get overwhelming, the idea of it warms my heart; programs supporting other programs all across the nation, uniting us all under one mission, #FTK. I am now the proud owner of an Indiana University and University of South Carolina Dance Marathon shirt.


from the perspective of Tirzha Herman, Finance Director: