Chapman House


What is Cal Poly Dance Marathon?

Cal Poly Dance Marathon is a student-run organization that raises funds and awareness for the patients at Cottage Children's Medical Center in Santa Barbara.

Dance Marathon Statistics

Take a closer look at the impact dance marathons have across the nation.

Step by Step Charts


Below is a slideshow of a day in the life of Cal Poly Dance Marathon's Dancer Relations Chair, Kayla Bakhshi.

Kayla Bakhshi, 3rd year psychology major, is the Dancer Relations Chair for Cal Poly Dance Marathon.  She holds weekly meetings with her Dancer Relations Committee in preparation for the dance marathon that will happen in early 2018. Dancer Relations committee is one of 7 committees that makes up the Dance Marathon leadership team.  “My overall goal as Dancer Relations chair is to get as many Cal Poly students and San Luis Obispo community members to join our movement, register for our event, and fundraise for our cause: our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Cottage Children’s Medical Center,” Bakhshi said. Last spring, Cal Poly held its first annual Dance Marathon, in which $36,254.17 was raised for Cottage Children’s Medical Center of Santa Barbara.  Because of this achievement as well as the committed efforts of last year’s leadership team (that Bakhshi was also a part of), Cal Poly Dance Marathon was awarded “Best New Dance Marathon” in the nation for the 2016-2017 school year. Bakhshi says that CPDM looks to raise their fundraising goal this year, and a big part of her job is to, “instill the passion in them to reach out to friends, family, and supporters to help us raise the funds and awareness for the kids in the next generation who need us.” This is something she reminds her committee of each week to keep them motivated with their pursuits.  Events (like hosting booths on campus and more) are held during the months leading up to the dance marathon that help spread the word about their purpose and goals.  Here, Bakhshi prepares supplies at home for an upcoming event her committee has organized. Continuing with booth preparation and in-between puffs of air, Bakhshi shares her story about the first dance marathon she attended 3 years ago, and how it changed her life. A girl Bakhshi’s own age shared her story about a lifelong struggle with AIDS, but that people like them involved with dance marathons, raising money and awareness for a cause that positively affected her, kept her going everyday. “I knew then that participating in Dance Marathons was so much bigger than me as a person,” Bakhshi said. “I want our campus to know that people, that kids, out there are fighting for their lives and going through struggles that some of us never would imagine going through at such a young age, and that we have the power to keep them fighting by standing, by dancing, by raising money, and so forth,” Bakhshi said. “FTK”, short for “For the Kids”, is Cal Poly Dance Marathon’s motto/motivation in their philanthropic efforts.  “It’s the perfect reminder for why we are doing what we’re doing—it’s important for us not to lose sight of this during the months leading up to our main event,” Bakhshi said.

Madison's Story-Why She Joined the Dance Marathon Movement

Many members of Cal Poly Dance Marathon are motivated to make impacting change on children's lives, but some, like Madison, have a special connection to the cause.

Why Do You Dance For the Kids?

Three members of Cal Poly Dance Marathon's leadership team tell us their "whys".