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Chattin' with a Captain: Mariah Staebell

The loudest, proudest DM’ers on campus. The Morale Captains. Who are they? What are they like? Let’s all take a moment and get to know one! Mariah Staebell is from Rock Falls, Illinois and is in her sophomore year here at UNI. She is currently studying Textiles and Apparel and Public Relations. She is an only child and can play the ukulele! Her passion, her heart, and her spunk make her an awesome asset for UNI Dance Marathon and all the kiddos we support.

When and why did you join Dance Marathon. Were you on any other committees?

It seemed like a fun event that was full of energy, and I am all about stuff that is full of energy. I also have a very close tie, more towards cancer than childhood illness in general. The cause hit close to home and I felt a really strong pull to join. I was never on a committee and only was involved in the Big Event as a dancer my freshman year (last year).

What is your favorite Dance Marathon memory so far?

My most memorable experience so far, was when several people volunteered to either donate their hair or to shave their head at the 2015 Big Event. When the three volunteers were getting their head shaved the entire vibe in the room changed. It was the first time the whole day that I felt that everyone was united in the cause we were supporting.

Why did you want to be a Morale Captain?

After having my first Dance Marathon experience ever my freshman year, I knew I wanted to build on that and get more involved. I saw how much fun the morale captains were having. You could tell how strong their bond was. I love to dance and perform and make people happy. It just looked like a lot of fun and a good way to get involved with the energetic side of the organization.

What are your responsibilities as a morale captain?

- Recruiting people to join is a huge responsibility. Each of the 40 of us get 29 spots on our team

- Being sort of "the face" of the organization

- Keeping up energy (morale) throughout the duration of the year and also the Big Event


- Always brainstorming different ways to get people involved with the organization

What is your best fundraising tip/what is the most creative thing you've seen people do?

Simply telling people about what we do. Reach out even if you think no donation will come. The more people that know about what the organization does, the more we can accomplish and the more we can raise. Also, make it personal. Tell people why you are telling them about this and why you are involved. I think it’s a GREAT idea to say that if you got a donation, you would do something funny. Like for example: "donate $30 to me and I will wear something of your choice for one entire day.” I have yet to do this because I am waiting for the Big Event to get closer.

What about Dance Marathon are you most excited for this year?

As a person that is involved in DM in general: way pumped for the Big Event and see if we reach our goal, basically seeing our hard work playout. As a morale captain: just continuing to grow with the other captains, get closer to them and have fun making a fool out of ourselves together.

What is your advice for new dancers as they begin to sign up and prepare for the big event?

It is never too early to start fundraising. It is amazing how much you can raise and how much information you can get across to people in just a couple hours, let alone a few months. Take advantage of the time you have to make a difference FTK.

Why should people sign up for Dance Marathon?

You should sign up for Dance Marathon simply because it is a fun way to do something for the greater good. Everyone loves to feel like they have made a difference in someone's life. But what if that someone was a child with a life threatening illness and what if that difference was that they were able to grow up, have LOTS of birthdays, get married, and have kids of their own? AND what if you got to have the time of your life while doing it?!

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