Keeping it in the marathon family


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Taylor Bogue can still remember the first time she was exposed to the University of Iowa Dance Marathon, all thanks to her brothers.

“You walked in, and the entire ballroom was covered in green,” she said, remembering her junior year of high school when she watched her brother Jared Bogue dance in the event. “It was amazing to see so many college students taking time out of their weekend just to do such amazing things for these kids and their families.”

Taylor Bogue, a UI health and human physiology major, has participated in Dance Marathon for the past four years — following in the footsteps of her brothers Jared Bogue and Alex Bogue.

As Dance Marathon approaches its 20th event, memories of years gone by wash over families who have participated for several years.

From his home in North Liberty, Jared Bogue shared his memories of how he and his family joined Dance Marathon, which became a center point in not only his life but the lives of his wife and two siblings as well — a full family tradition.

He started participating in Dance Marathon during his freshman year as a spirit dancer.

“I just kind of joined on, and saw what it’s like, and never looked back,” he said. “I looked and saw all the other dancers, and I loved the four to six hours I was there. I wanted more. So really then it wasn’t an issue with me being a dancer the next year. I just really wanted to be part of it, so I made that step, and then as a dancer I saw leadership … it was just kind of like a snowball effect.”

During his sophomore year, Bogue called his family and told them that he was “doing this amazing thing for the kids” as a full-time dancer. When his entire family came up to see him, younger brother Alex Bogue and younger sister Taylor Bogue were first exposed to a world that became very much their own.

Alex Bogue came to the university the very next year and joined his brother on the dance floor. Jared Bogue was a morale captain, and Alex Bogue was a dancer.

“I just kind of fell in love with it,” he said. “It was kind of a different spectrum of college. It helped me be a little more responsible.”

Jared Bogue said that when his brother came up to him after the dance was over and said he wanted to be more involved, it wasn’t a big surprise.

“It really didn’t take any prodding at all from me,” Jared Bogue said, “And I didn’t plan to because I think that, knowing him, I know how much he would have liked it.”

At this Dance Marathon, Taylor Bogue knew what she would do when she came to Iowa herself.

“We’ve been a Hawkeye family forever, so I kind of knew I was coming to Iowa,” she said. “And I said if I did come to Iowa, this was the organization that I wanted to be in.”

Not only do these three siblings have memories of the event to celebrate, the bond of number 29 also connects them — they were all morale captains of Group 29.

Jared Bogue and Alex Bogue, who were in the same fraternity, received Group 29 their junior years, but no one expected Taylor Bogue to have the same group.

“When I got the call from her, she’d been worried that she wasn’t going to get the position at all,” Alex Bogue said. “But we knew she got it.”

Taylor Bogue said that expected the number to be given to another fraternity member, but was excited and called both her brothers right away when she was given the number this past year.

“All three of us kids have been Group 29, and it’s a pretty cool thing to have,” she said. “They were excited to keep the family tradition going, so it was really cool.”

Dance Marathon not only brought the siblings together, it introduced Jared to his future wife, now Heather Bogue. They had met when she joined Group 29, though she was placed elsewhere due to a computer error, before meeting again their senior year.

“Come to find out I was actually signed up for his group without even knowing him,” Heather Bogue said. “Dance Marathon works in funny ways.”

The main thing that the Bogue siblings wanted to leave Dance Marathon with was the knowledge that they had helped other families and that Dance Marathon had influenced their lives so much.

“I think it’s something that just spreads,” said Jared and Heather Bogue. “Once you pass it on to people that you love, people that you know [it’s contagious].”

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