Dance Marathon challenges community


Iowa State Dance Marathon will hold its weekend celebration Jan. 22 and 23, 2016.

Matthew Rezab

In the wake of last year’s “Ice Bucket Challenge”, Iowa State Dance Marathon is asking supporters to participate in its “Dance Dare” to benefit children and their families served by the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

Iowa State Dance Marathon has been raising money to help children with life threatening illnesses for 18 years. “Dance Dare” asks participants to make a video of themselves dancing in public after challenging others to do the same, or to make a donation.

“The idea actually came from the media relations committee, it wasn’t just me,” said Iowa State Dance Marathon media relations co-director Ethan Lindley. “Together we produced what we wanted to be said and what was the meaning behind the video.”

Lindley, a senior in marketing, said the media relations committee decided to begin the challenge during the summer because it helps keep people thinking about Dance Marathon all year and not just when Dance Marathon Weekend is approaching in January.

He also said it’s helpful when people are spread out around the country and the world during the summer because it adds a variety of locales to the videos. Lindley shot his own public-dance video in Los Angeles, where he’s interning for Digital Brand Architects.

“The goal is to try to get it out there … get a snowball effect going, and just try to make it bigger and bigger,” Lindley said. “We’re trying to get all the schools to work together for a good purpose.

Media Relations Co-Director Romina Rivadeneira said the committee wanted to do something different to show what they are capable of. 

“We’re willing to dance in public for Dance Marathon, so are you guys willing to as well to spread the word, or donate to Dance Marathon?” Rivadeneira said. 

Iowa State Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropy on campus, raising more than $444,000 in 2015. Since its inception, Iowa State Dance Marathon has raised $2.7 million. Students interested in participating are expected to raise money throughout the year leading up to Dance Marathon Weekend. 

Fundraisers, or “dancers”, who are able to raise at least $250 are invited to the Dance Marathon 2016 at the Memorial Union in the Great Hall on Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016.