ISU hip-hop dance club features dance marathon miracle kid


Courtesy of Rachel Graff

Dub H hip-hop club performed their Hotel Dub H show Dec. 5 at the Ames Auditorium.

Emelie Knobloch

Dub H, the ISU hip-hop dance club, danced in front of about 600 people Dec. 5, but they were really dancing for one person in particular.

At the end-of-semester show, Dub H featured Jayden, one of Dance Marathon’s miracle kids. 

“We featured a boy named Jayden for our show this semester,” said Whitney Kennebeck, secretary of club. “He is one the miracle kids for Dance Marathon. He loves to dance.”

Jayden suffers from hydrocephalus — a buildup of fluid inside the skull that causes the brain to swell — and spina bifida that limits the use of his lower limbs. Jayden, who is 8, has had 14 operations.

“At the end of the show, we had a freestyle circle where anyone can come up and dance,” said Kayla Carpenter, member of Dub H.

Carpenter said Jayden crawled to the center of the circle and lifted himself up.

“He just lit up the stage,” Carpenter said. “He appears to be very mature and full of life.”

Austin-Carry Javellana, president of ISU Dance Marathon, said Jayden had an amazing time.

“He loved dancing with the hip-hip club dancers,” Javellana said. “It is important for kids like Jayden to have opportunities to do things that kids without illness can do.”

Javellana said Jayden was told he may never walk but began taking his first steps around the age of 2.

“He is now able to walk with forearm crutches and is an active and goofy [8-year-old], Javellana said. 

Dub H partnered with Dance Marathon for ticket sales as well. For every ticket sold for the event, $1 went to Dance Marathon.

According to its Facebook page, with the help of Dub H, Dance Marathon raised over $1,100.

“We sold out of tickets,” said Ryan Rassasombath, president and choreographer for Dub H. “It was an amazing turn out.”

According to its page on the ISU website, Dub H put on a show for an audience of approximately 600 guests.

Rassasombath said his goals for the performance were exceeded.

“The performance was a [phenomenon],” Rassasombath said. “Everyone left their hearts on the stage no matter what.”

Rassasombath said the performance had no technical difficulties and having a smooth-running show kept the audience entertained the whole time.

“There is endless support for the club,” Rassasombath said. “I can’t thank everyone enough. I couldn’t do it without my cabinet members and friends.”

According to its page on the ISU, Dub H is currently the largest student-run club at Iowa State with approximately 500 members.

“ISU hip-hop dance club is the biggest student-run organization on campus,” Kennebeck said. “We typically have 20 choreographers each semester that hold practice once a week for a hour-and-a-half.”

Dub H is done for the semester, but next semester they have two workshops available for students interested in joining the club.

“We have two workshops on Jan. 22 and 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Forker Building,” Kennebeck said. “Students can get a taste of what the club is like.”

Kennebeck said Jan. 28 there will be a “choreo showcase” at 7 p.m. in the Forker Building.

“This is when the choreographers show a small portion of their dance,” Kennebeck said. “Dancers can sign up for whatever dance they would like to be in for the semester.”

Dub H has other performances throughout the semester as well.

“We have other events such as Day of Dance and performances from our selected dance group Twolves, said Christina Greiner, second event coordinator of the club.

According to its page on the ISU, Dub H has performed at several events including the pregame show for the Minnesota Timberwolves.