Even after our students leave Iowa State University, we like to let them know that they are always welcome to stay involved with our organization. Explore how you can stay involved in ISU DM with advice from some of our recent alumni!

Syd Borys – Class of 2019

Syd Borys was involved in Dance Marathon all four years she attended Iowa State. Nowadays, she is studying to get her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Syd’s Previous Dance Marathon involvement includes:

DM 2016 – Dancer (the first step that changed my entire life) 

DM 2017 – Recruitment and Dancer Relations Committee (I wanted to do more and further my involvement!)

DM 2018 – Recruitment and Dancer Relations Committee (I wanted to further my leadership and mentor first year committee members)

DM 2019 – Executive General Co-Director (Go Big or Go home when it comes to making miracles. So thankful for the opportunity to lead DM 22 with the best counterpart – Marissa Breider!!)

Syd’s favorite Dance Marathon memory is:

“How could I possibly pick one!! My favorite memories of all time come from Dance Marathon! But if I had to list a few it would be the first year hosting Chick-Fil-A FTK, our team was so motivated and committed in creating this event and it went amazing!! I would also say the big reveal at DM 22. The signs flipped and said $308,000 and we went crazy. Then our Children’s Miracle Network rep came on stage and said “lets show everyone where the 8 really goes” and it was revealed that we raised $380,281.22. Hugging, dancing, crying and screaming every single incredible miracle maker was the most bittersweet ending to my collegiate Dance Marathon career and DM 22.” #rooted!!!

Syd’s advice for those in Dance Marathon:

“Dance Marathon is the most selfless, energizing and unique organization in the world and I don’t say that lightly. We are a community of young people actively choosing to go out and make a difference. We are college students making a fool of ourselves, inspiring others and raising money so a child doesn’t have to go through chemotherapy alone or a family doesn’t feel financially burdened by an unexpected illness. We are a family of people who promise that we will continue to fight until there are no more sick kids. There is truly nothing more special in the world than that. So I encourage you to reflect on your why behind joining Dance Marathon and use that in every conversation you have, every dance move you rock (good or bad, no judgment) and every event you attend FTK. I can promise you, you will find more and more whys every single day. You will never regret a second of making miracles <3

Ps. Don’t forget to say Thank you to everyone who supported you 🙂 This goes beyond thanking someone financially! Make sure to show some love and gratitude to your fellow miracle makers, leaders and families.”

Ryan Szalat – Class of 2019

Ryan Szalat was involved with Dance Marathon all four years at Iowa State. Now, Ryan works as a medical scribe in his hometown of Ft. Dodge, IA. He is applying to medical school in the fall.

Ryan’s previous Dance Marathon involvement includes:

Dancer/Miracle Maker — 2015-16

Family Relations Committee — 2016-18

Family Relations Co-Director — 2018-19

Ryan’s favorite Dance Marathon memory is: 

“I know it sounds cliché, but there are too many to choose.  My first Dance Marathon memory was running into the Great Hall at my first Big Event.  I really didn’t know anything about Dance Marathon, and I was completely overwhelmed.  The atmosphere with an incredible and everyone had so much energy and excitement.  I was hooked right away.  Being involved with the families for three years, I was able to make a lot of memories with miracle kiddos and their families.  There are too many memories to pick just one but seeing the joy on a miracle kiddos face gave me goosebumps every time.  DM is truly like family to many of them, and the smiles never get old.  Finally, being on the executive team was an amazing experience.  If anyone is ever on the fence about applying, I would encourage them to do so.  My Co-Director, Megan Fronczak, and I always joked about how we never thought we would have applied to be on the executive team, but that we would do it again in a heartbeat if we had the chance!”

Ryan’s advice to those in DM or wishing to join:

“Showing up to your first event is the hardest part.  Once you are exposed to Dance Marathon and the families we support, you will leave wanting to come back.  If you are nervous about attending an event or don’t know anyone else involved with the organization, bring a friend along with you!  Lastly, be present and invested in everything that you do.  It will not only make your Dance Marathon experience more memorable, but your college experience as a whole.”

Hope Yates – Class of 2019

Hope Yates was involved in Dance Marathon all four years at Iowa State. Hope currently lives in Iowa City and is getting her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Iowa.

Hope’s previous Dance Marathon involvement includes:

Freshman Year: Dancer — or Miracle Maker

Sophomore Year: Development Committee Member and Morale Captain

Junior Year: Recruitment and Dancer Relations Committee Member and Morale Captain

Senior Year: High School Outreach Director 

Hope’s favorite Dance Marathon Memory is: 

“Wow, favorite Dance Marathon memory is a TOUGH one! This might be cheating, but at every big event (and every miniathon) I would always take a moment to step back, take in my surroundings, and remind myself of my ‘why’. Seeing all of the inclusion, passion, excitement, commitment, and love that was happening in the room around me is a feeling I will never forget. My first and last ‘Power Hours’ are very memorable too!”

Hope’s advice to those in Dance Marathon or wishing to join:

“Dance Marathon is an organization that truly has a space for anyone and everyone. It is a judgement free zone where you can come together with other amazing people to be a part of an extraordinary mission. Before saying “eh, that doesn’t sound like something I would be interested in” I encourage you to talk to three different people in the organization and ask them what drew them to DM and why they have stayed!”

Grant Denny – Class of 2018

Grant Denny was involved in Dance Marathon for five years as a student and two as an alumni. Grant works as a reliability engineer at a fertilizer company in Ft. Dodge, IA.

Grant’s previous Dance Marathon involvement includes:

Dancer, Recruitment Committee, Executive Director, Recruitment Committee, Recruitment Committee

Grant’s favorite Dance Marathon memory is:

“Dillyn Mumme sharing his story, telling us about beating cancer, and celebrating his job at NASA.”

Grant’s advice for those in Dance Marathon or those wishing to join is:

“Dance marathon is one of the greatest things you can be a part of. Take your cool cap off early and often. In fact, try not to ever put it back on. Celebrate the kiddos at every opportunity.”

Logan Driscoll – Class of 2018

Logan has been involved with Dance Marathon for five years as a student and two as an alumni. Logan now attends Des Moines University and is part of their Physician’s Assistant program.

Logan’s previous Dance Marathon involvement includes:

“My first 2 years at Iowa State Dance Marathon, I was a dancer. I then made the jump to the Executive Team, serving as the Co-Director of Recruitment and Dancer Relations. I also attended the national convention in Maryland that year! The last 2 years, I’ve attended as an Alumni Dancer.” 

Logan’s favorite Dance Marathon memory is:

“My favorite Dance Marathon memory was the moment when all of the dancers (that I, Meg, and our team had recruited) rushed into the Great Hall to start DM 2018. Still get chills thinking about it. I knew that day was going to be a great day FTK.”

Logan’s advice to those in Dance Marathon or those wanting to join is:

“Dance Marathon is generally something you just dive headfirst into or maybe get “dragged” into. I started in Dance Marathon without knowing anything about it. As I found out more, this organization and this cause changed my life. Take that first step. Say yes when someone asks you to join, or to be apart of this in any form. Watch how it changes your outlook on life. Watch how it changes your perspective. I have made new friends, got closer to current friends and met some incredible families/kids during this journey. College is all about gaining experience, and Dance Marathon (especially Iowa State’s) is one you do NOT want to miss!”

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