Dance Marathon continues trend of breaking records


Photo: Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

At the conclusion of the 16th ISU Dance Marathon, the Miracle Children displayed the final donations total of $388,457.16 with umbrellas. 

Katelynn Mccollough

Ten minutes before ISU Dance Marathon’s infamous power hour, you’ll find the outer halls of the Memorial Union packed with students stretching, leaning and rubbing sore muscles, but still standing.

By this point, more than 900 dancers have been on their feet for nearly 13 hours, with two more to go including the power hour, which is a solid hour of dancing.

“[My feet are] all right,” said sophomore Michelle Keane, as she stands on one leg, stretching out the other, “they’re past the point of hurting, they’re just numb now.”

But Keane and her friends, Jordan Holmes, Allie Parsons and Zoey Spooner are quick to point out that even with the numb feet, it was all worth it for the Miracle Children and their families.

The hours spent fundraising for this year’s 16th Dance Marathon were also worth it with another record-breaking total of $388,457.16, all of which will go toward the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

The 2012 Dance Marathon raised $380,742.15.

Since its beginning in 1998, Iowa State’s Dance Marathon has consistently raised more money and increased the number of dancers over several years. This year they were able to make a record-breaking promise.

“We have until 2016 to raise $1 million, which will be broken into four years, for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital,” said Dave Arends, a general co-director with Lisa Gestrine.

The $1 million donation will go toward a new playroom at the hospital. Arends said that the playroom will most likely be teal in honor of ISU Dance Marathon and have a more “personal feel toward Iowa State.”

The growth of Dance Marathon did lead to several logistical changes, such as using two stages to spread out the number of dancers in a room and meet fire codes.

Dancers had plenty to do throughout the day as they learned the Morale Dance and played with the Miracle Children and their families.

For three dancers, Morgan Froebe, Danny Iverson and Katie Carver, one activity included the loss of several inches of hair, all of it going to Locks of Love and Pantene.

“I was more just caught up in the moment and excited,” Iverson said after cutting off eight inches of his hair, which he had been growing out for a year and a half.

Arends wanted this year to push the “Why We Dance” culture of the event, which included leaving a blank spot on each dancer’s t-shirt for them to say why they danced.

“Dance Marathon is going to continue to grow based on the involvement, the leadership and passion we have among our students,” Arends said of next year.

Dance Marathon also plans to continue to grow in their creation of videos, keeping them as having the number one most visited youtube page in the “Dance Marathon nation.”

Guests for the night ranged from ISU athletes, student organizations around campus and Miss Iowa, Richelle Orr.

As for Keane, who was attending Dance Marathon for the first time, she said there was no doubt about her participating next year.

After all, it’s for the kids.