The Dance Marathon, which is the third hosted at UCSB, will raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) and their local Santa Barbara County affiliate

Alex Gonzalez / Daily Nexus

The Dance Marathon will last for 12 hours total, and organizers hope to get a variety of on-campus organizations and groups from fraternities to residence halls involved in the festivities. The Marathon will start the evening of Feb. 20, running all night. Alex Gonzalez / Daily Nexus

Dance Marathon will host UCSB’s third annual Dance Marathon from Feb. 20 to 21 to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Dance Marathon is one of the nation’s largest collegiate philanthropy organizations and operates through the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) and fundraises year-round to provide care for children at each campus’ local CMN hospital. This year, UCSB will be raising money for Cottage Children’s Hospital located in Santa Barbara, CA.

Samantha Gerraty, second-year dance and biology double major and co-director of Dance Marathon operations, said Dance Marathon began at Indiana University in honor of 18 year-old Ryan White, who passed away from HIV/AIDS in 1991.

“White was diagnosed with HIV/AIDs, and passed away from the disease before he could attend college,” Gerraty said in an email. “[White’s] friends held a dance marathon, which fundraised for the Riley Hospital for Children, and inspired other students across the nation to start supporting their own local CMN hospitals.”

Lynn Padlipsky, fourth-year biology major and Dance Marathon executive director, said the organization hopes to raise even more funds than last year.

“We are hoping to raise a lot of money for Cottage Children’s Medical Center. We are hoping to outdo last year where we raised $35,000,” Padlipsky said in an email. “We are also hoping everyone comes to the event excited and leaves inspired.”

Padlipsky said the Dance Marathon club at UCSB has focused on getting everyone on campus involved in the event.

“The organization of the club has changed a bit, and this year we are really focusing on getting all clubs, Greek life and residence halls to participate so all of UCSB is represented,” Padlipsky said in an email.

Gerraty said participants will be able to meet past recipients of the money raised through Dance Marathon and enjoy games, food and performances by UCSB student groups.

“At the event, the dancers will have the opportunity to meet five miracle families — children and their families who have been helped by Cottage Children’s Medical Centre — to hear their stories and to play games and dance with them,” Gerraty said in an email. Desirae Lucas, fourth-year psychology major, said she chose to be involved in the marathon this year because she enjoys dancing and supports the event’s charity.

“I wanted to participate in Dance Marathon this year for a few reasons — the first is because I love to dance and it would be a fun time to spend with all of my friends,” Lucas said. “Second, I think it’s for an amazing cause, and lastly, I also wanted to do it this year because I wasn’t able to make it last year because I got sick.”

Lucas said she plans to wear comfortable shoes and to dance for the entire 12-hour event.

“My strategies to survive are bringing very comfy shoes and to just keep dancing — the more you dance, the less time you’ll have to worry about your feet starting to hurt!” Lucas said.

Sophia Dycaico, first-year undeclared major, said she is excited about the challenge of dancing for 12 hours continuously.

“I’m most looking forward to showing off my dope dance moves while spending time with great people to support the children,” Dycaico said. “I’m also excited to see how people’s dancing changes as we approach hour 12. Maybe I’ll even challenge a few people to a dance battle.”

Dycaico said she plans to prepare for the marathon by sleeping well the night before and pacing herself throughout the marathon.

“I’m going to sleep a full 12 hours the night before, eat food, drink water and pace myself throughout the marathon by saving my best moves for the very end,” Dycaico said. “Plus, I’m going to start training for Dance Marathon by playing a random song on Pandora and having a mini dance party in my dorm every night for the week leading up to dance marathon.”

To register to participate in the Dance Marathon 2016, visit

To volunteer for a three-hour shift during the event, sign up at or email

A version of this story appeared on p. 4 of the Thursday, February 4, 2016 edition of the Daily Nexus.