When music comes on people just can’t help but dance. It’s a fun thing to do with their friends, it’s a way to relax and blow off some steam from midterms and finals. But what if you could do all that and help a good cause in the process? Well, fellow USC Trojans put their dance moves to work for the kids at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and the Children’s Miracle Network.

Dance Marathon is a yearlong effort where a group of students plan a multi-hour event to raise money for the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital. This is the fifth year that USC has hosted this event, run by an executive board and a planning committee. They organize the yearlong effort involving various fundraisers, special events, marketing and dancer registration pushes, corporate sponsorships, community outreach and more.

“Being a part of Dance Marathon will change your life. I first attended my freshman year and was blown away by the unity of USC students for such a great cause,” says Jenny Chen, current online media coordinator. “The minute I heard one of one of Miracle Children, Eileen, start to sing, I started to cry. These kids exhibit so much courage and bravery, they have gone through more than most of us could ever imagine.”

The fundraising lasts all year long leading up to the Trojan Dance Marathon in February. TDM is a 12-hour event to be held on Feb. 25, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the USC Campus Center Ballroom. The event is completely student-run and benefits Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

This year’s the E-board chose “Hearts Unite, Dance to Fight” as the 2012 theme to encourage all participants to join in and dance for the entire 12 hours.

USC isn’t the only one making a difference, this event takes place at 120 campuses across the country; they are a culmination of dance, music, games, live entertainment and food. This event is open to everyone, not just college students.

“Anybody in the community can take part, either as a donator or a registered dancer. We ask that everyone try to stay on their feet for the entire 12 hours because we stand and dance for those who can’t,” says Chen. “One of the most inspirational parts of the night is hearing all of the individual stories from a few Miracle Children, or patients from CHLA.”

People can also get involved as a Dancer, Spirit Moraler or Performer. Dancers will be paired with a Patient Ambassador who will inspire them to dance for miracles; they stand and dance for those who can’t. Spirit Moralers are extremely enthusiastic and have the role of energizing and supporting Dance Marathon dancer participants. Performers range from bands, DJs, and other performance groups, which are there to keep the energy high and enthusiasm going for our dancers and patients. Past performers have included DJ Kick-Mix, DJs from DANCEiSM and platinum singer-songwriters the Jackie Boyz.

“Dance Marathon is a great way to see the Trojan Family in action, without having to be intoxicated or at a sporting event. It shows outsiders that we are more than the stereotype,” says Quin Adney, Performances Coordinator.

Dance Marathon is a continuous, multi-hour event on college campuses that blends dancing, music, games, food and a variety of entertainment into one experience.

Some may say they have two left feet, but that’s OK. TDM teaches you the hottest moves so you can have fun.

“We will teach all kinds of dance moves, and we want to learn some new ones too. You simply need a big heart for the kids and the desire to have tons of fun,” says the TDM committee.

“People should be a part of is because we could all have some inspiration in our lives. Miracles really do happen,” says Adney. Everyone can register on the event’s Web site, trojandm.org, and even if you can’t make it to the event next year you can still get involved by donating for the event online. It doesn’t matter how much you give, just the fact that you give, plus these gifts are tax-deductable.

Trojans are all about Fighting On, and it’s the message they want to continue to give to the children at the hospitals.

Have a student group or idea for a future Trojan SideLines? E-mail editor.chief@campuscircle.net.