How to survive a 12-hour danceathon

Credit: SK Photography

I took part in the Sponsored Danceathon for Sarcoma UK at the Flying Duck in Glasgow on February 20th 2015. It is hoped this will become an annual event.


Be sure to read up on the rules and do some strategy planning with your teammate. Our danceathon required one member of each duo to be on the floor at all times, dancing, and wearing a glow stick (see right).

Try to schedule in some limbering up as the big day approaches. If you’re planning any big dancefloor shapes you’ll need to make sure you’re fit enough to recover from them.

Drum up excitement and sponsorship for your efforts via social media. Pictures of yourself tearing up the floor at previous soirees may inspire generous friends to make donations, or to come along and cheer you on.

Credit: SK Photography


Climate control is an important consideration when considering your danceathon wardrobe, which should contain at least three outfits, ideally more. You’ll likely be starting off with some gentle bopping on a relatively sparsely populated dancefloor, so consider wearing tights and adding a cardigan or shrug to your debut ensemble. When things heat up you can discard these in a designated laundry bag. Progress from structured to floaty styles to maximise comfort as you go.

Dancing in any shoe for 12 hours could spell trouble, or even blisters. If you have any existing blisters, keep them covered with a Compeed blister plaster (accept no imitations), and if you have any troublesome areas a preventative plaster might be a good idea. Bring two or three different pairs of shoes to the danceathon, factoring in both comfort and co-ordination.

Multiple footwear options are a must. Also don’t forget hair accessories if you are prone to excessive “glowing”


You may wish to bring a selection of light snacks to nibble on during your disco breaks. Alternatively, try eating a large basket of skinny fries 10 minutes before the danceathon is due to commence – you should be untroubled by any thoughts of eating until at least 10 hours later, when the painful digestion process is complete. Then eat an apple.

Be sure to keep yourself well hydrated during the danceathon, especially in the aftermath of any spells of committed bouncing, moshing or conga dancing.


A repertoire of low-energy moves is essential to keep you powering through hours on the floor. Try mixing up the tried and tested side-step with a gentle shimmy, a light twist and a power march.


Try to position yourself in view of the dancefloor during break times, in case your dance partner is required to perform some elaborate attention-grabbing moves to summon you back into action. If possible, elevate your legs during your disco breaks. This will ease any foot pain while also letting your rivals know you mean business.


Be sure to maintain a reserve of energy for the final fling of your danceathon, which is likely to involve a high-octane dance-off against any other surviving couples. Flat shoes are advisable to reduce the risk of accidental injury as you battle for glory.


Post-danceathon, be sure to advertise your triumph far and wide, as well as thanking all the friends and family whose support powered you on. We were raising money for Sarcoma UK via Just Giving – all donations very gratefully received!

Published by Shona Craven

Writer, editor, talking head

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