TCU, SMU face off in Dance Marathon challenge

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TCU and SMU went head-to-head last week on and off the field in this year’s battle for the Iron Skillet, taking home a win in football and a win for TCU Dance Marathon.

With a weekly goal of 215 registrants, TCU Dance Marathon won the challenge with a total of 279 participants signed up. 

Both dance marathon teams wanted to take advantage of the traditional Iron Skillet football game as a way to register more participants for this year’s marathon.

The Iron Skillet is a long-running football rivalry between TCU and SMU. Whichever team wins the game gets to bring back the trophy – an iron skillet – to their respective university for the following year.

TCU Dance Marathon President Lindsey Lange-Ferguson said she wanted to incorporate the fight for the Iron Skillet into the dance marathon because the rivalry would motivate more students to sign up.

“Everyone loves a competition and TCU students are very passionate about football,” said Lange-Ferguson. “So we figured this would get everyone pumped up.”

Avery Kout, president of the SMU Dance Marathon team, said the main goal for this week was to reach out to more people who wouldn’t normally look to participate in the dance marathon.

“Our goal was, even more so than to win, to motivate our student body to register for DM,” said Kout. “There is nothing like friendly competition to get people to take action.”

Miracle Network Dance Marathon is a program for college students nationwide to help local children’s hospitals by raising money used for research, medical equipment and any other areas necessary.

Dance Marathon allows college students to be a part of something bigger than just themselves, said Kout, which is why she believes it is an important cause to advocate across different campuses.

“When a group of college students comes together around a cause, it is incredible to see what they can accomplish,” said Kout.

The presidents at both universities said they were happy to see the challenge benefit not just one, but two programs committed to the same fight.

“This challenge was sort of a win-win situation,” said Kout. “No matter the outcome, we got more students involved in our cause.”

Spencer Thompson, TCU sophomore mechanical engineering major and a registrant for this year’s event, said he liked the idea of having registration as a competition because it would rally more students to sign up.

“Competition definitely draws more participants because as Horned Frogs we want to beat SMU in every aspect,” Thompson said.

This year, TCU’s dance marathon team is looking to raise more money than last and to be more involved with the miracle kids from Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

TCU’s fifth annual Dance Marathon will take place March 2, 2019.