Students participate in Dance Big Red fundraising marathon


Tucker Covey

Members of WKU greek life, student athletes, and members of the public participate in the charity event Dance Big Red in order to raise money for Norton Children’s Hospital in the Preston Center on Friday, March 24, 2023. Dance Big Red lasts for six hours and consists of learning dance moves and raising money while hearing stories from sponsor families from nearby communities.

Izzy Lanuza, News reporter

WKU students participated in Dance Big Red, a fundraising dance marathon, on Friday, March 24 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Preston Center to help raise money for the Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville. 

This year, Dance Big Red featured 16 different families that have had experiences with the hospital. Fundraising teams were grouped into four different colors, each highlighting four kids from the hospital, which they referred to as “superhero kids.” 

“There is going to be a mechanical bull, there’s going to be a bunch of competitive games,” Ryleigh Palmer, dance relations executive, said. “There’s going to be cornhole, spikeball, volleyball and there’s going to be a bunch of other stuff that’s going on in Preston. We’re also going to have a dance marathon, and there’s just going to be a bunch of stuff.”

Every hour of the night organizers revealed a different part of a dance. At the end of the night the different parts of the dance came together to reveal a whole dance routine. 

“My favorite part about it was when at the end the full dance came together,” Blake Mitchell, a sophomore in Phi Gamma Delta, said. “It was exciting to see all the hard work to learn the dance pay off.” 

Throughout the academic year, the Dance Big Red organization hosts several events to raise money for Norton Children’s Hospital. Examples of this would be their dodgeball tournament, trivia night, kickball tournament and concert on South Lawn. 

“This is our big event and throughout the night, we’ll raise money,” Palmer said. “We also have competitions between the teams and organizations that are registered for ‘Spirit Points’ for the amount they fundraised.”

All the money that is raised for the Dance Big Red organization will be donated to Norton Children’s Hospital, but more specifically to their Heart Foundation. 

“I heard about the impact it had on the Norton Children’s Hospital and knew I had to participate,” Mitchell said. 

Over 600 students participated in Dance Big Red this year, with participants coming from multiple different organizations across campus. 

“[It’s important] to see the kids have a great night with us and get to see the smiles on their faces,” Ian Mccune, a freshman in Pi Kappa Alpha, said about participating in Dance Big Red. 

At the end of the night, organizers revealed $93,522.45 was the final amount raised for Norton Children’s Hospital, thousands of dollars more than the $85,000 raised by the event last year.

News reporter Izzy Lanuza can be reached at [email protected].