Dance Marathon plans Miracle Week to ‘take over the entire campus’


Photo: William Deaton/Iowa State Daily

Dance Marathon members gather on stage during the Power Hour when everyone dances during the final hour of the fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Memorial Union. 

Brian Day

Jan. 25, 2014, thousands of ISU students will pack the Great Hall of the Memorial Union to dance, play games and stand for 15 straight hours. The event? Dance Marathon. The cause? The kids.

Although the date is still a few months away, Dance Marathon, the largest philanthropic organization at Iowa State, requires advance preparation and fundraising that must be done in order for the organization to meet the goals they have for the event.

The week of Sept. 30 through Oct. 4 is what Dance Marathon calls Miracle Week. Miracle Week is a week full of different activities, games, events and sales on campus, all dedicated to making students aware of what Dance Marathon is.

The main goal of Miracle Week is to reach out to potential dancers. The activities during Miracle Week are meant to show what Dance Marathon does, why the participants do what they do, and to answer any questions and help people get registered if they so choose.

“The main part is just getting the Dance Marathon name out there,” said Derek Lacina, recruitment officer for Dance Marathon. “Our goal is to take over the entire campus and reach all 33,000-plus students in one week.”

Each dancer has the opportunity to try to raise $250 for the kids, and once they do, they are invited to come to the celebration in January. Every penny raised by every dancer goes directly toward the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital by way of the Children’s Miracle Network. This year, Dance Marathon has set a goal of raising $465,000.

“Our theme this year is ‘Together We Stand,’ so we tried to kind of embrace that branding,” said Jessica Pearce, co-director of the organization. “Everyone is welcome to participate in Dance Marathon, and everyone is welcome to get involved further with Dance Marathon,” 

After a student’s first year of dancing, there are many opportunities to stay involved with Dance Marathon. The organization has almost 200 committees that second-year members can apply for. Committees range from community to development to public relations and everything in between.

Over the years, ISU Dance Marathon has raised more than $1.5 million for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Along with that, the money goes to help over 80 families throughout the state of Iowa.

“It’s a really neat experience as a college student to give back to an organization that means so much to other people, and that you can visibly see how much of an impact it has,” Pearce said.

Even though the event in January is meant to be fun, Dance Marathon members said they want students to remember what the main reason for the event is: the kids.

“Dance Marathon isn’t necessarily a dance, or a marathon, but a celebration of life,” Pearce said.