Learning to Ballroom Dance is a Blast


March 5, 2020
Topics: Donors



Dr. Cicarelli Reason to Dance 2020

Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope is a ballroom dance competition that raises money for Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.  The evening begins with a silent auction, followed by a three-course dinner, and then the ballroom competition.  Dr. Mary Ciccarelli is a doctor at Riley hospital and is one of eight celebrity dancers this year.  We asked Dr. Ciccarelli a series of questions about her upcoming routine and why she decided to participate in Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope this year.


You attended Reason to Dance in 2019, what motivated you to be a celebrity dancer this year? 

The event brings together a cross-section of people from across our state who share a common goal, to help fund important services for children served at Riley Hospital. The night is a really entertaining celebration with music, dancing, dining, and an auction. Our table had a great time last year, so I am inviting all my friends to come enjoy themselves this year, while also doing something good for Riley.  

Can you tell us about your role at Riley Hospital for Children? 

I have worked for a total of over 30 years at Riley Hospital and Indiana University School of Medicine as a physician, teacher and academic. I love being a doctor, as it is fulfilling and challenging. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work in medical education, helping young physicians launch their careers. I have learned so much about children and families and communities through special projects which are dear to my heart, improving the care of children with special needs, including care coordination for children with medical complexity, early diagnosis, and intervention for children with autism or developmental delay, and transition of care from pediatric to adult services. The Center for Youth and Adults with Conditions of Childhood has served over 2,000 youth in Indiana who have needed help in preparing and succeeding as they move into adulthood. The Early Autism Evaluation hub network provides diagnostic evaluations for over 800 toddlers and preschoolers per year across 14 different communities in Indiana. The Indiana Medicaid Demonstration Project in Care Coordination for Children with Medical Complexity is giving enhanced care to 300 children within their primary care sites in the north, central and southern Indiana, as part of a ten state national project. I believe that these projects make a difference in the lives of children, just like I believe that Reason to Dance makes a difference.  

Is this event pulling you out of your comfort zone? 

Learning to ballroom dance is a blast. My instructor is doing a great job of turning my two left feet into a working pair!

How much fun have you had learning the dances you will do on the night of the event?  

See above! I have met new people and tapped into a skill that I really didn’t think I could have. 

Why should people donate to your cause?  

Here are the two reasons why I think you NEED TO DONATE!  

Number 1, Child Life specialists are the best!!! They work so hard to help children be children, even during the times when they are living with the significant stresses of illness or hospitalization. They help prep for procedures and provide emotional and psychosocial supports. Their programs wouldn’t exist without donations! Number two, research in childhood diseases is the key to finding answers so we can make our care and the future for children with serious illness better! The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research conducts research with over 200 investigators and the dollars we donate help sustain their innovative programs.  

You can vote for Dr. Ciccarelli to win Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope here.


Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.


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