Dancing in solidarity
The line dance is one of Dance On’s oldest routines taught to participants of fraternities, sororities, campus organizations and visitors at the sixth annual dance marathon coined CougarThon.
Development chair Jessica Ha, corporate communications and accounting junior, set high expectations for the event. The goal was to raise $10,000 in proceeds for the Charity Care Program of Texas Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“For the turn out this year, we’ve been trying to make it bigger, and we worked on getting more organizations involved since people like to work as a group,” Ha said.
The event held Saturday lasted from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the University Center Houston Room. Participants were encouraged to stay the full nine hours and stand for those who can’t. The majority of the event’s fundraising came from the $10 registration fee that in return led participants to a personal website where sponsors donated to local families.
“These families and these kids have illnesses that may last them a lifetime and you’re here to show them that you’re here to support them, and you’re here to stand for them,” Ha said. “You’re showing your support symbolically that way.”
Civil engineering senior Seth Demberg of Delta Upsilon fraternity participated in his last Dance On as an undergraduate after supporting for four years.
“We love hanging out with the kids. We love showing them a good time — showing them that we’re here for them. We’re here to stand up for them, raise money for them to help with the treatments or anything that they need,” Demberg said.
“It’s all for a good cause and it’s a lot of fun, and you get a lot of organizations out. There are a lot of different fraternities and sororities out here today and more organizations that will be attending. It’s definitely a great cause and it’s great for the school that we can keep getting involved with outside campus activities.”
The marathon began with a series of dance routines taught by instructors. Wii, board games, Twister and a photo booth were also available in-between dance breaks.
Freshman undergraduate scholar Kristen Melchor of Phi Mu sorority, whose philanthropy organization is Texas Children’s Miracle Network, came out to support with her sisters and dance for the recovering children.
“I think it’s a cool thing because you know some of the kids can’t stand so we’re taking a stand for them,” Melchor said. “It’s just a nice thing for us to do and you know we’re having fun.”
Four families who have benefited from these funds came out and shared their stories, expressing how important fundraising activities like Dance On affect their lives. Across the country, 150 different schools host similar events. UH is continuing its efforts to make Dance On a tradition on campus.
“The heart of the event is definitely when you meet these families,” Ha said. “It makes everything so worth it.”