24-hour UK dance marathon raises $1.4 million for cancer research

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) The pounding beat pulses through bouncing bodies, moving the feet and hips of hundreds of University of Kentucky students in unison.

It's a dance the more than 800 students know by heart since they've been doing it for 24 hours.

"It is legitimately the best day of the year here," said dancer Allee Williamson.

What makes the 24-hour DanceBlue marathon a highlight of the year isn't so much the foot stomping fun, as it is the effort to raise money for cancer research to help children like Sydney Dover.

"It's very heartbreaking because it's out of your control," said Melissa Dover, Sydney’s mother.

Dover says her 10 year old daughter started her battle with cancer when she was 2.

"Every time we get scans we get nervous tummies, that’s what we call it because we don't know what the outcome is going to be," she said.

Sydney is a patient at the Kentucky Children's Hospital, which is where the money from the dance marathon is headed.

Students have to pay $365 just to dance but some take it a step further.

"For Alpha Tau Omega, my fraternity, I think we raised around $16,000," said Colby Hall.

As a whole, the students and the community raised over $1.4 million during the non-stop dancing event.

"It's wonderful to see students give of themselves selflessly for these children,” Dover said.

Some students say skipping out on sleep to bust a move hasn't been easy because they're powering through with aching muscles.

“Your feet hurt, your legs hurt but it’s totally worth it when you see the kids. I love it, everyone here loves it,” said Williamson.

Proving their big moves take the backstage to their big hearts.

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