Dance Marathon 21

When preparations for UI Dance Marathon’s 21st year began, everyone was riding the wave of excitement from the success of Dance Marathon’s milestone 20th year. Now, we can hardly believe that in just 21 weeks we will all be dancing FTK at DM 25! Looking back on Dance Marathon 21 there were numerous successes, challenges, highlights, and advancements to the organization. However through it all it was always or goal to maintain focus on one thing: the kids.

During DM’s 21st year construction of the new UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital was in full force. As we watching construction climb higher and higher into the Iowa City skyline, we continued to work harder and harder toward our mission of providing emotional and financial support to the kids and families that would receive treatment there - as well as all the kids and families DM had been supporting for the previous 20 years. 

The DM Family Picnic had always been a favorite family event, kicking off the year with an opportunity for students and families to interact in a fun way. This year we combined the Family Picnic with another favorite event, the FTK 5k, to create one big day to be known as FTK Day. 

Another major advancement to the organization during this year was the continued development to the Family Database. Our Family Relations director Brian Wall and his team worked tirelessly to input data into this new system that would ultimately help DM families to more effectively interact with the organization. Our technological advancements didn’t stop there! Our team also worked to develop UIDM’s first “app” during this year. Additionally, our Morale team worked to create an interactive video to be played during the Big Event that would help Dancers to effortlessly be able to learn and follow along with the Morale Dance. 

The 21st year of Dance Marathon of course concluded with the Big Event where it was revealed that a bunch of college kids in the middle of Iowa raised $2 million dollars For The Kids. While that number was important and historic to everyone involved, what was more important was what each of those dollars would do to support our kids and families. The value of each and every Dancer was reiterated when we learned that the final total was $2,001,856.21; meaning that what pushed us over the $2 million mark was just FIVE dancers. 

We are looking forward to celebrating DM 25 with thousands dancers, leadership members, and of course - kids and families! We are forever grateful for the students who continue to work so hard to continue to maintain the mission of University of Iowa Dance Marathon. See you in 21 weeks! FTK!

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