#TBT with UADM

It all began with an idea, some inspiration and a spark. That spark grew into a flame that has not stopped growing since the first ever University of Alabama Dance Marathon in 2012. Now that UADM 2018 is less than a week away, we want to take a moment to look back at when UADM started off as a spark, and evolved into an inextinguishable flame from 2012 to today.

UA student Tyler Rigdon had a friend who was a Morale director for the Dance Marathon program at University of Florida. After Tyler listened to his friend go on and on about their DM program and the impact on their local Children’s hospital, he brought these inspiring words back to Tuscaloosa. In 2011, he and Alexandra Rhett, with the help of Erin Curtis (who manages many DM programs across the country) drafted the first vision for the first ever University of Alabama Dance Marathon. And the miracles began…


#TBT to 2012

The year the spark first ignited! A group of 20 UADM staff members and 150 participants came together to stand for eight hours with an incredible goal driving their motivation. A grand total of $14,952.28 was raised for the first UADM ever! From that moment on, they knew this was the start of something very special.

“Hearing the stories from the two Miracle Families in attendance was the most impactful thing for me," said Tyler Rigdon, one of the founders of UADM. "It never sank in how much of a human impact this organization could have for these amazing families."


#TBT to 2013

The second year of UADM, when the team fundraised more than double what they raised the previous year!! 2013 is the year that UADM was #TooLegitToSit and this was an incredible momentum boost for the newly created UADM. After experiencing the first year of UADM and still learning how to run such an organization, “…the impact of that day [the first Dance Marathon] really fostered my passion for UADM and Children’s going into the next year,” said Rigdon. UADM 2013 displayed how strong the teamwork and commitment is within the organization, and how far we can go in chasing the same goal FTK.


#TBT to 2014

In 2014 UADM raised a total of $83,061.09 For The Kids! This flame kept growing stronger with such an incredible team chasing the same goal: obliterating childhood illness. This was the third year where students gathered together to stand and dance with a purpose. Each year continued to surpass the last in fundraising and growth on campus. UADM 2014 was another awesome year of making miracles and supporting our Miracle Families at Children’s of Alabama. With strength building within the organization, this year inspired them to take the next Main Event to a new level.


#TBT to 2015

This was the record-breaking year when UADM dared to say 100k. Their goal was set to reach a six-figure total for the first time ever. #DareToSay100k was more than just a hashtag, but a frame of mind that brought the miracle making to a whole new level for UADM. The event was packed with new games, dancing, Miracle Stories, music, food and fundraising to make this event bigger and better than ever, and the results did not disappoint. Not only did they successfully reach the 100k goal, but they also surpassed it by raising a grand total of $128,702.06!


#TBT to 2016

The 5th annual main event in UADM history! After breaking a new fundraising record at the previous Main Event, the UADM team knew there was more magic in store for this year. This 12-hour event was split up into different themes for each hour such as tropical, throwback and American hour. They also brought in a DJ and more money-raising entertainment at the Main Event. From daring to say 100k just one year before, UADM 2016 raised an incredible total of $211,342.16 FTK!


#TBT to 2017

Just last year, the miracles continued to grow! UADM surpassed their original goal of $300,000 and reached a fundraising total of $340,001.17. This has been the biggest and most successful year of UADM yet. It’s clear to see how passionate the staff is about why they dance and the deeper meanings behind all the glow sticks, tutu’s, dancing and neon paint. All of the hard work, dedication and passion for the purpose filled the room when the grand fundraising total was displayed at the end of the Main Event.


Each year, UADM has continued to grow and help make more miracles happen FTK. For the first time ever, we will be standing on our feet for 13.1 hours on Saturday, Feb. 17 to try and reach our fundraising goal of $450,000. We do this for a cause, for more miracles, and For The Kids. We are standing and dancing for those who can’t, celebrating life, and fueling the spark that has exploded into an inextinguishable flame since the beginning of UADM. Make sure you stay tuned for UADM 2018! Click here for details about what this year's Main Event has in store.

This year, we are chasing our biggest goal yet to make more miracles happen—and we need your help to get there. If you would like to join us in reaching this goal, helping make the miracles happen, or dancing with us at the Main Event click here!

Maddie Stevens