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The University of Iowa University of Iowa

University of Iowa Dance Marathon to Host Big Event 2019

The 25th annual University of Iowa Dance Marathon will take place February 1st and 2nd, 2019 at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City, IA. Together, dancers, leadership members, and volunteers will stand from 7:00 PM Friday night to 7:00 PM Saturday night to symbolize their support for the fight against pediatric cancer.

The annual 24-hour Big Event is the culmination of students’ year-round dedication to the children and families receiving treatment at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Dancers and leadership members work for 365 days to reach their individual fundraising goal in order to attend the Big Event.

“Love, support, empowerment, and inclusivity were all centralized themes for our 25th anniversary of the University of Iowa Dance Marathon. No matter who you are or the size of your act, we wanted all to feel that they will have an immense impact on our kiddos and families. After launching the campaign ‘Shape Your Impact’, our community responded. It has been amazing to see how student leaders have pushed themselves to ensure the most successful and impactful year yet, and I guarantee that Dance Marathon 25’s Big Event will be one to remember,” said Charlie Ellis, Executive Director for Dance Marathon 25.

The Big Event requires participants to forego caffeine, sleep, and sitting down (if able) for the full 24 hours. To pass the time, live entertainment will be provided, including pop duo Fly By Midnight and musical artist Ravi Drums. Other entertainment will include a LipSync battle, an Escape Room, a Best Buy video game room, Dance Marathon family speakers and much more.

“For 25 years, students at the University of Iowa have come together to fight against pediatric cancer. These students are a part of a movement that is bigger than themselves and seeing the milestones they are able to accomplish each year is always inspiring. This will be my 7th Big Event as either a student, alumnus, or now as an advisor. It has been an honor to be a part of this organization and to see firsthand its growth. Now in its 25thyear, UI Dance Marathon strives to provide an inclusive experience for all students while continuing to break fundraising records. I cannot wait to see what this anniversary year brings and I couldn't be more proud of the students that I work with to make it happen,” said Brock Cavett, Coordinator for the University of Iowa Dance Marathon.

Dance Marathon works to create special projects to provide emotional and financial support to families treated at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital with an emphasis on pediatric cancer and bone marrow transplant patients. Throughout the past 24 years, UI Dance Marathon has raised over $24 million to help families in their fight against pediatric cancer. In recent years, Dance Marathon committed a $5 million gift to the construction of the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, where the 11th floor is named the University of Iowa Dance Marathon Pediatric Oncology Unit. Additionally, UI Dance Marathon pledged $2.2 million to fund a Child Life specialist position to ensure patients are given the emotional support they need.

“This is my fourth Dance Marathon as an advisor, and I am so excited to see the culmination of such a hard-working group of people. This team has worked endlessly to make sure that every single person touched by UIDM feels their importance and understands how they can impact the organization. We have just a few more days until our 25th anniversary Big Event, where we get to celebrate not only this year but the hard work of thousands and thousands of people who have made this organization what it is today. This year we dance for the kids, we dance to remember, and we dance to honor everyone touched by this organization in the past 25 years. UIDM is proof that a dedicated group can truly change the world, and I am proud to be a small part of this movement,” said Tracey Pritchard, Assistant Director for the University of Iowa Dance Marathon.

A 24-hour live feed of the Big Event will be available at Dance Marathon also has a UIDM mobile app, which is available on both Apple and Android products. The app will include: event schedules, maps, and quick links to Dance Marathon’s social media.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit or email Lillian Boenker at