ShareThis Page
Hundreds raise money for charity at Pitt Dance Marathon |

Hundreds raise money for charity at Pitt Dance Marathon

| Saturday, April 9, 2016 2:36 p.m
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Eric Goldhorn, a University of Pittsburgh freshman, sings karaoke to Adele's 'Hello' during the Pitt Dance Marathon at the William Pitt Student Union as a crowd dances along on Saturday, April 9, 2016.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Micayla Schmitt poses for a photo during the Pitt Dance Marathon at the William Pitt Student Union on Saturday, April 9, 2016.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
A group of students gather in the lower level of the William Pitt Student Union during the Pitt Dance Marathon on Saturday, April 9, 2016.

The ballroom was bumping until midnight at the William Pitt Student Union, where more than 1,000 students were expected for the revamped Pitt Dance Marathon.

The University of Pittsburgh student fundraiser underwent a number of changes for 2016, including a move to the student union from the Cost Sports Center, a shortening to 16 hours from the previous years’ 24-hour marathon and a change in organizational structure that brought it under the aegis of the Student Activities office instead of Greek Week.

“We made a lot, a lot of changes this year, and we’ve seen a very positive outcome so far,” said Kayla Himes, a senior and co-president of the event who noted a record number of dancers had registered. “We’ve been making a lot of efforts to make sure the entire campus was involved.”

Though perhaps overshadowed by Penn State’s annual multimillion-dollar THON fundraiser, the Pitt Dance Marathon is one of a growing number of dance marathon fundraisers at local schools. In recent years, high schools including Thomas Jefferson, North Hills and South Fayette have started their own.

The relocation from the sports center to the Pitt Union allowed more variety of events and music, because Cost was one large space. The dancing at the union was broken up among the ballroom, the assembly room and activities downstairs, event Vice President Emily Tumpa said.

“This way, if one area starts playing electronic dance music or something you don’t like, you can go over here, and you’re not stuck for a couple of hours listening to EDM,” said Will Bongiorni, a past co-president of the event. “The program had struggled in the past, but this year it’s really taking off. Five years from now it’s really going to be succeeding.”

Tumpa said dancers had to raise at least $150 through appeals to family and friends or collecting with cans at sporting events. She anticipates the total raised for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation will surpass last year’s record of $153,000.

“It’s fun for the kids,” dancer Desiré Fowlkes said as children danced and lip-synced on stage to boy-band music in the Assembly Room. “They’re here so you can have a face to see what you’re working for.”

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.