This article was written shortly after Rutgers Dance Marathon 2014. For the latest on the event, please visit:

Every DM’er has been there – family and friends asking,”What is Rutgers Dance Marathon?” You try to tell them in a way so that’s its easy to understand: “It’s 30 hours awake and on your feet to raise money for Embrace Kids Foundation.” You continue by telling them that Embrace Kids raises funds for the non-medical needs of families with children with cancer and blood disorders.

But even with those quick facts, sometimes its hard for others to grasp the concept of this annual Rutgers event. It’s not easy to capture the essence of Rutgers Dance Marathon in a short sentence or two.

So, folks, we’re here to rescue you from any more awkward explanations. Feel free to share this anyone who’s asking for dance lessons, or anyone who donated to you because they love you very much and want to support you in all your endeavors (even though they have no idea what you are actually doing for 30 hours).

So, what is Rutgers Dance Marathon?



Why do people even sign up for this thing? Why are a bunch of college students sacrificing their precious free time to stand for 30 hours? It’s simple – the hope that they can make a difference in a family and in a child’s life.  Hope that although these kids can’t be cured, today might be just a little easier, a little happier for them.



Patient families open their hospital doors and let down their guard for college students in the RU4Kids program. It’s been described by parents that learning your child had cancer completely throws your world into chaos. Relatives and friends can only take off so many days and travel so many evening. These families meet college students through RU4Kids and trust that these students will lighten the burden and bring some relief. Parents are forced to blindly have faith in strangers to help organize a chaos they never knew before.



Participants aren’t alone during the dance marathon weekend. Students sign up as groups and organizations so they can support each other, mentally and physically. You know someone is a true friend when they carry you on their back so your legs can get some rest. You know they’re like family when they give your stinky, aching feet a massage at 4AM. Experiences like these create a bond unlike any other. These people see you at your best, at your worst and cry with you during Family Hour. These people are family.



30 hours in an arena with a thousand  other college students? What’s not fun about that! Live bands, countless activities and games, and free food are all part of the experience. Club DM and the Line Dance are highlights of the weekend, too. Plus, the people are great. Anyone who is surrendering themselves to a weekend at DM is pretty awesome (and someone you should be friends with).



It’s hard to explain a feeling so intense and tangible that is created by a thousand people in one room. The last hours of Rutgers Dance Marathon between Family Hour and the Total are exhilarating, and the experience is created simply by love.

In love with Rutgers Dance Marathon? Want to donate ? You can right now at

Rutgers Dance Marathon is held annually at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). It’s open to the public, so anyone can go visit the students, the kids and the families.