High school students from all over Porter County danced their hearts out at a United Way Dance Marathon event held on Friday, February 28.
The event was open to all high school students in the area as long as they had a parent complete a permission slip allowing them to participate. The cost was $10.00 if students registered in advance online and $12.00 at the door.
The evening kicked off at 6:00 pm and it was not an ordinary high school dance. There were many different “themed hours,” in which the music played went along with specific themes. For example, there was a “through the decades” theme, where music from each decade, starting with the 1950’s, was played.
A few more themed hours included “rave hour,” where a lot of electronic music was played, followed by a half hour of slides and other popular dances and at 9:00 pm, there was Zumba. After all the themed hours, there was a dance off.
If dancers wanted to take a break, they could grab a bite of food in the cafeteria. All the food was free from cost. Food such a pizza, hot dogs, cookies, and popcorn were all available.
In a separate room, bean bag games were set up along with corn-hole games.
The event was held at the YMCA in Portage and was a fundraiser hosted by the Power of Youth Council. Everyone working the event from the Power of Youth Council were all volunteers.
“We’ve done the half marathon [in Valpo in the fall] and then this is the other big thing that we’ve done,” said event volunteer Rachel Major.
The Power of Youth Council is a program in which high school students from Porter County do things like leadership training, volunteering, and fundraising for youth self-esteem programs.
The one responsible for setting up the event was the coordinator of the high school Power of Youth Council, Mackenna Dickt.
According to Dickt, this is the first year of the dance marathon. However, she would like to do it again in the future.
“A few years ago, our council decided we wanted to do a new spring event and we threw out the idea of a dance marathon,” Dickt said. “This was the first year that we had enough planned that we were able to implement it.”
According to Amber Alexander, the YMCA’s Associate Executive Director, Dickt is the one that made everything happen.
“Mackenna is really in charge of the dance marathon,” Alexander said. “She asked the Y to host and we were happy to do it.”
Dancers Jill Bridgeman and Megan Townsend had plenty of fun at the marathon.
“[I’m most looking forward to] old school rap music and the 90’s,” Bridgeman said.