Dance Marathon Royalty helps raise money for Riley


Photo by Chris Tran.

Seniors Paul Kelley and Usmaan Saifuddin lift Kyle Boatman on their shoulders after he is crowned as Dance Marathon Royalty on March 25.

     On Friday March 25, the Fishers Dance Marathon club announced at the dance marathon that $80,130.63 was raised for Riley Hospital for Children throughout the year due to the fundraising efforts of the club.

     “We didn’t expect to raise as much as we did,” senior Izzy Slick said. “I am beyond proud of how well the committee and exec did this year.” 

     Slick is the Media Director for Riley Dance Marathon at FHS, and her role on the club’s executive board is to produce content such as shirts, presentations for meetings, promotional posters and flyers and run the club’s social media accounts. This year, she took on the additional role of running the Dance Marathon Royalty competition.

     “Dance Marathon Royalty is a competition that I pushed for last year that was an evolved form of Mr. Dance Marathon,” Slick said. “I wanted to make it where anyone could do the competition.”

     Committee and executive board members filled out Google forms with nominations of seniors, and chose 12 seniors to fundraise, compete in various competitions and fundraise. Senior Kyle Boatman was one of the 12 seniors chosen to compete in the royalty competition. 

     “A lot of it was asking friends and family if they’d be willing to donate to the cause and I told them what we were doing, and that was most of the donations,” Boatman said. “Another part was the brownies and cookies that I made a bunch of times that people really liked. I did enjoy doing it, and I now have some really good recipes to use later, but it was definitely a lot of hard work.”

     At the end of the dance marathon, Slick totaled the points that royalty had been earning through various competitions since January. Riley kid and Fishers Dance Marathon member Molly Kelly crowned the two winners at the end of the night. Boatman came in first place, and he raised around $3,000, three times his original goal of $1,000. Second place winner was senior Emma Gellenbeck, who raised $3,360.

     “Winning royalty meant a plethora of things to me, first and foremost was that I felt as if I had done a good job, I felt very accomplished and I was able to be involved with the Dance Marathon and helping out with raising money for the children,” Boatman said. “I also felt quite a bit of relief knowing that all my hard work had paid off and that I was able to live up to and exceed mine and others’ expectations with helping in any way that I could.”

     Slick has many favorite moments from the dance marathon this year, such as the lip sync battle, announcing the total amount of money raised and the circle of hope.

     “[The circle of hope is] right before we do our total and the committee makes a big circle and the execs make a smaller one in the middle,” Slick said. “The execs do our last little cry together before it is all over. It’s one of the last moments you have as an exec team and it’s kind of like the cherry on top of a good Riley year.”

     In the last three days leading up to the dance marathon, the club raised $30,000. 

     “I’m definitely going to miss Riley, it was a huge part of my high school career and I wouldn’t trade the experiences for the world,” Slick said.