Dance Marathon raises over $340,000 for children’s hospital


Dance Marathon raised a total of $340,552.23. Students held up the total for the audience to see.

Avery Staker

Editor’s Note: This story previously incorrectly referred to the cause Dance Marathon was raising money for as Chemodynamics rather than the correct cause, hemodynamics. The article also stated Dance Marathon raised $340,552.22 rather than the correct amount, $340,552.23. The Daily regrets this error.

Music roared through the halls of the Memorial Union as Iowa State’s Dance Marathon took on Iowa State Saturday. 

The total number raised from this year’s Dance Marathon was $340,552.23. 

Kait Pearce, a fourth-year executive co-director of Dance Marathon and senior in kinesiology and health, talked about goals for this year’s event. 

“We are in the middle of a $700,000 pledge to hemodynamics,” Pearce said. “It’s a preventative program that supports neonatal and infant heart and lungs. They use predictive software that finds where the potential problems are and intervene before it becomes a problem.”

Last year, $380,000 of the $700,000 was raised from Dance Marathon. This money goes toward programs like hemodynamics that help families with children that need invasive surgeries or have serious medical conditions.

The goal for this year is to raise the rest of the $700,000 for those families.

Dance Marathon has been a large part of student philanthropy at Iowa State for the last 23 years. It is a student organization focused on raising money for the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital, according to the Dance Marathon website. 

Rachael Dierickx, an Iowa State alumna and former Dance Marathon student dancer, explained how important the event is to her family.

“My daughter had open heart surgery when she was two,” Dierickx said. “It was a nice thing for me to be able to reach out to Dance Marathon as a family when I was so passionate about it as a student.”

Dierickx said her daughter is now nine years old and perfectly healthy, thanks to money raised from Dance Marathon.

The event also has a large impact on student participants. Pearce said her role as an executive member has shown her how this event impacts families in positive ways. 

“My favorite part of the day is the end after final [number] reveal,” Pearce said. “We do the morale dance one last time and it’s super cool to be on the stage as an executive member and get to look out and see 400 dancers knowing the whole morale dance. They’re so bought into the cause […] Everyone is fueled with so much fire, even though it’s midnight and we’ve been on our feet for 15 hours.”

The morale dance is composed and choreographed each year by members of the Dance Marathon executive team. At the top of every hour, the DJ plays a mash-up of popular songs from the year and a dance-along video plays on the projector screen on the stage.

“I chose to do Dance Marathon because I love kids,” said Brady Eberline, a freshman in world languages and cultures. “As an education major, I’m going to be working around them for a long time. Growing up I was always around kids with special needs, so this has held a very special place in my heart.”

Students also love Dance Marathon for all of the fun surprises. Abigail Schafer, senior in landscape architecture and fourth year Dance Marathon dancer, said her favorite part of the day was when Wendy Wintersteen was dancing on the dance floor with other Dance Marathon participants.