Student to Use Dance Marathon to Illustrate Savvy Speaking Skills



Jan. 10, 2006 – Sarah Snyder won’t be tap dancing her way through a special Speakers Showcase Jan. 24 at Southeast Missouri State University.

That’s because Snyder, a freshman speech and theatre education major from Belleville, Ill., has carefully prepared and rehearsed her presentation on a Dance Marathon planned for the Southeast campus in the spring.

Snyder completed SC105, “Fundamentals of Oral Communication,” during the fall 2006 semester and will use the Dance Marathon as a springboard for educating new students to the course on the basics of being a savvy public speaker. Snyder, who serves on the Dance Marathon steering committee, prepared her speech on the marathon to complete requirements for SC105 last fall.

Dr. Glen Williams, associate professor of communication studies and instructor for the course, has invited her back to class this spring to show the 475 new students to the course the ingredients for a good speech.

“The event is open to the public for anyone interested in public speaking,” Williams said.

The Speaker Showcase is sponsored by COMMrades, the student communication club, and is planned for noon in Academic Auditorium. The Speakers Showcase, held every semester and now in its fifth year, provides a good model for newly-enrolled students to follow. 

Students in SC105 study the oldest academic discipline known to humankind – public speaking.

Snyder will use the opportunity to discuss a Dance Marathon planned for April 28 in the Student Recreation Center North at Southeast Missouri State University. The marathon, to be held for the first time at Southeast, is designed to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, with funds directed to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Miracle Center in St. Louis.

Those participating in the marathon find sponsors who donate dollars based on completion of the marathon. Each dancer’s goal is $100.

Participants dance or must remain standing throughout the 12-hour marathon, except for meals and bathroom breaks. The dancers stand in support of those who cannot. While standing, dancers participate in a number of activities and interact with children assisted through the Children’s Miracle Network.

Indiana University and Penn State University have been holding dance marathons for a number of years. Jeff Sorensen, chair of the Morale Committee at Indiana University, says, “Dance Marathon is about learning what a priority is in life” and “a true priority in someone’s life should be giving back to others who need your help.”

For more information on the Speakers Showcase or SC105, contact Williams at (573) 651-2493. For more information on the Dance Marathon, contact Scott Crean, president of COMMrades, at, or Sarah Snyder, a member of the Dance Marathon steering committee, at