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The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Being a Dancer

What is Dance Marathon?
Dance Marathon is a year round student run organization that works to support cancer patients being treated at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. Dance Marathon volunteers work year round to raise funds to support the entire family. Dance Marathon culminates with a 24 hour long Big Event in February. The Big Event is a tribute to the fight against cancer that these children face.

How do I get involved? What can I do?
You can start by getting signed up today! Traditionally, most people get involved their first year by signing up to be a dancer. When registering for Dance Marathon you will pick a Miracle Group, and your group’s Morale Captain and Lime Captain will provide fundraising resources, plan social activities to meet people, and keep you informed of what’s happening within the organization. To attend the Big Event dancers must raise $250 with a $25 registration fee. If you need financial assistant to register as a dancer, there is an opportunity to apply for our UI Dance Marathon Registration Fee Waiver Program.  You can view the program guidelines here.  After participating your first year, if you are interested, there are tons of ways to get more involved on our leadership team. You can become a Family Representative, a Morale Captain, or a Chairperson, or eventually even a member of the Executive Council!

What if I don't know anyone in Dance Marathon?
Not a problem! Your Morale Captain and Lime Captain will help get more involved in the organization and meet new students leading up to the Big Event! Or, even better, invite all of your friends to sign up to be a dancer as well!

What leadership opportunities are there?
There are nearly 300 leadership opportunities within Dance Marathon, and there is definitely something for everyone. All majors can find a place in Dance Marathon that can benefit them! From being a Morale Captain, on the Business committee, or Family Relations, there is something for everyone! Leadership is selected for the next year right after the Big Event in February, so watch our website for information to apply.

How do I raise my money?
There are many ways to raise you money – from canning downtown on a weekend night, to writing letters to family members asking for donations. Take advantage of our online giving system, as well. You can email friends and family and ask them to visit your own online giving page. This means you can raise your money without even getting out of your chair! For more information on money raising tips, visit our fundraising page.

I'm a terrible dancer, why would I want to be a part of Dance Marathon?
To start off, there is a LOT more to Dance Marathon than just dancing! And aside from that, no one cares what you look like dancing or what kind of moves you have because everyone is there in support of the Dance Marathon kids and families! It's all for the cause and to show our support for the families. Aside from that, dancing is not the only thing that goes on at Dance Marathon. There are many different kinds of entertainment at the Big Event, including live bands, games, meeting lots of people, prizes, family stories and much more!

Do I have to dance for 24 hours?
Only if you are able! We have an accommodations room at the Big Event for those that need additional support during the 24 hour period, and encourage everyone of every ability level to participate in Dance Marathon. Dance Marathon is a really incredible experience that is hard to put into words until you actually experience it for yourself! During the 24 hours you will experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but it is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences you will ever have. The event closes with power hour, which is a very high energy, indescribable wrap up the event.

Isn't Dance Marathon just one day a year?
Definitely not. Dance Marathon is most known for the Big Event in February, but the organization is busy with activities YEAR ROUND. Throughout the year Dance Marathon hosts family events, social activities, and fundraising activities. Dance Marathon is what you make it. You can be as involved as you like! Visit our calendar to learn more about what is currently going on.

Who are the families that Dance Marathon supports?
The families that Dance Marathon supports are all children who are receiving treatments right here in Iowa City at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. Dance Marathon specializes in supporting pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplant patients.