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Sunday, May 29, 2022

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Participants warming up at last year's Aztec Dance Marathon. Participants warming up at last year's Aztec Dance Marathon.

Aztecs Dance the Night Away for Philanthropy

Students, faculty and members of the community will join together to dance the night away to raise money for Rady Children’s Hospital.
By Sabrina Shahawi

Students, faculty and the San Diego State University community are rehearsing their dance moves in preparation for the Second Annual Aztec Dance Marathon with a goal to raise more than $100,000 for Rady Children’s Hospital.

Last year the Aztec Dance Marathon raised more than $40,000, and on Feb. 12, Aztecs will dance for 15 hours straight starting at 5 p.m. in Montezuma Hall at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

“For everyone to see that they can make an impact on kids, I think is most rewarding,” said Dance Marathon Executive Director Emily Carper.  “Personally, I think it’s the best event on campus, not only because it is fun and entertaining, but what we’re doing is meaningful. It’s something on campus that every student should and could get on board with.

What will the night entail?

Forty-six members, one year and a lot of dedication went into planning this non-traditional philanthropic event with themed hours, food, games and entertainers. The themed hours include Aztec pride, color wars, 80’s theme and party in the USA. During the event, every hour a patient or their family member will share their personal stories.

“Direct exposure during event to families of patients who live in the area really makes it connect all together,” said Jack Deschamps, a member of the Dance Marathon hype squad.

All proceeds from the event go to help cover medical costs for families that don’t have insurance to help pay child life specialists who help to explain to young children what their serious illness is, and to upgrade and build playrooms at Rady Children’s Hospital.  

Color teams

Color teams are new to this year’s Aztec Dance Marathon. Each team that registers for the Dance Marathon is added to a Color Team to compete in competitions called “Color Wars” against other teams. Throughout the night of the Dance Marathon, there will be numerous surprise competitions among the teams.

Join the fun

The Dance Marathon is open to all students, faculty and the community. However, only students can register to dance for the entire night.

Those interested can visit the registration page and pay a $20 fee, which includes a T-shirt and catered meals throughout the night. Dancers can sign up with their own team or join a team. Many SDSU student organizations have already started teams.

Faculty and community members can sign up as “moralers,” or supporters, and pay $10 at the door to stay for a 2-hour period. Another option is to attend as a visitor and pay $5 per hour.

Open 2- hour time gaps for moralers:

  • 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 10 p.m. to 12 p.m.
  • 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Last year 461 people attended the Dance Marathon and nearly 400 students have already registered for this year’s event.

“I think it’s amazing to pull 400-plus college students who are all doing their own thing together at once for a cause like this. I think that’s just the coolest thing ever,” said Jack Deschamps, Dance Marathon Hype Squad.

Find out more

Those interested in learning more are encouraged to “like” the Aztec Dance Marathon Facebook page, follow on Twitter and participate using the #forthekids or #FTK hashtags. More details available online.