Marissa Alaniz graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Sociology and Communications with a minor in Performing Arts Management. She joined Dance Marathon at the beginning of her freshmen year because she liked to dance, but stayed with the organization “because I found a community that I valued and that valued me.”
With DMUM, Marissa took on the roles of dancer, entertainment coordinator, and finally, Planning Director. “From a Planning perspective, I’ve always loved the Rave at the Marathon. It is a culmination of many efforts and hard work behind the scenes that manifests itself in a spectacular show!” Her advice for new dancers is to “be positive and open to trying new things; savor the little moments and let them inspire you to keep standing. And afterwards, find something that interests you and get involved in
Marissa currently works in development at Food Gatherers, a food rescue program and food bank that serves Washtenaw County. Her team is in responsible for fundraising campaigns, special events, stewardship strategies, and marketing. Including Marissa, three members of the Food Gatherers staff are DMUM alumni!
“I did not fully realize how valuable my DMUM experience would be until it ended. It is incredibly unique to be given the opportunity to grow as a leader and do good in the world with your peers and best friends by your side. Not only did my experience in DMUM shape my interests and give me the tools to transition into a career, it shaped the way I live my life. DMUM taught me to work with people who think differently than I do; to challenge myself, solve problems, and compromise; and to work for missions greater than myself: skills and values that I simply could not have learned in a lecture hall.”
Thank you for everything you have done for DMUM and see you at the Marathon!