Mr. and Ms. Dance Marathon winners announced

Photo by Giselle Cancio/FIUSM 

Giselle Cancio/Staff Writer 

On Tuesday night, a packed house and $2000 raised became one of the most successful Mr. and Ms. Dance Marathon Pageant the University has ever seen.

The Mr. and Ms. Dance Marathon Pageant was established at the University to raise funds and awareness for the Miami Children’s Health Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

“The winners of the event will set an example for the entire FIU community and aid in the efforts of Dance Marathon 2014,” said Carolina Bellido, assistant director of Communications and junior majoring in public relations. “They will represent what Dance Marathon is all about.”

The 2014 Mr. and Ms. DM Pageant winners, Carolina Busse and Jesse Peinado, will be named honorary morale captains at Dance Marathon 2014, and will help raise money for the marathon from now until April.

Prior to the pageant, their only responsibility was to promote and spread awareness about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and what Dance Marathon is.

As most who are involved with Dance Marathon would say, “We dance for those who can’t, because it’s all for the kids.”

There are four rounds during the pageant. During the costume and introduction round, they asked that contestants dress up in a “Monsters Inc.” inspired costume because the theme this year is just that: “Monsters Inc.” They were asked to introduce themselves, showcase their costume and explain why it describes them.

The second round was the talent round. Here, contestants had the chance to perform any appropriate talent onstage for the judges and audience. Some talents showcased throughout the night were sang, performed stand up poetry, stand up comedy and danced.  Renzo Barrantes, who was a previous morale captain and director of morale, had a unique talent. Instead of singing and dancing, he chose to show the audience how to recruit dancers for Dance Marathon.

The third round was called “speed canning.” Contestants had two minutes to collect money from the audience in order to raise money for the Miami Children’s Health Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Each dollar equaled a point. The viewers’ choice winners were Danica Tersigni and Desmond Petit.

During the final round, contestants were asked a myriad of final questions.

“There was no right or wrong answer. We asked the judges to take things into consideration like honesty, how personable someone is, if they tied it to a personal experience and so forth,” Bellido said.

All proceeds raised from now until the marathon goes to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital is Miami Children’s Hospital and they use the money where it is needed most. When a donation is given, it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals have raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment and pay for uncompensated care – all in support of our mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

Dance Marathon is a 17 hour event which will be held April 5 and 6 and students can still register to be a dancer at

“I thought it was a great event. There were such diverse talents like stand ups, dancing and even showing me how to recruit,” Alexis Culmer, sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism said. “The best part of it all is that it was for a good cause and, more importantly, for the kids.” 

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