Monday, February 3, 2020

26 ways to make the most out of your Dance Marathon 26 experience:

The Big Event is fast approaching, and everyone is preparing for the best 24 hours of the year! DM 26’s Big Event will begin on February 7th at 7pm and end on February 8th at 7pm. You might be wondering, “Do dancers actually dance for the entire 24 hours?” We provide many different activities and exciting events for dancers to participate in during the 24 hours. Here’s a list of 26 activities to try out at the Big Event!

1. Dance on the main stage: Dancers are invited to dance on the main stage any time that there isn’t a family speaker or main event happening. Grab a group of friends and head to the front to get a good photo opportunity!

2. Activity rooms: The 3rd floor of the IMU will be packed with many different activities that will quickly pass the time! It will include a craft station, a gameshow room, escape rooms, board game room, and even silent disco.

3. Hit the Gong!: New to Dance Marathon this year, we’ve introduced a gong to symbolize new donations we receive during the 24 hours. Let everyone know you’ve just raised $50 by hitting the gong!

4. Learn the Morale dance: With 24 hours, you have enough time to perfect the morale dance performed by morale captains! There will be a room to learn the dance with an opportunity to practice it every hour when the MC’s and LC's perform on stage.

5. Short hair don’t care: Whether you participate in this event or just watch, its an incredible atmosphere of generosity and selflessness. The main stage will have a group of hairdressers who will help dancers donate their hair if they’ve raised enough money to do so.

6. Update your social media: Keep everyone informed on all the Big Event activities you’ve done so far. Use Dance Marathon’s hashtag #FightUntilTheEnd on social media posts!

7. Quilt names and pillowcases: In the main lounge, there are hundreds of pillowcases hung up & made by dancers for the kiddos of DM. Each child has a pillowcase that reflects their passions, interests, or favorite movie characters that they will keep after the Big Event. Also, take a moment to reflect on the Dancing in Our Hearts quilts in the back of the main lounge. The names on these quilts reflect the kiddos who have lost their battle with cancer.

8. Mood room: The opportunity to sit and sleep! Every dancer will have a chance to visit this room with their morale group at a designated time. Find a comfy bean bag or blanket and rest your eyes for 15 minutes!

9. Dance with a DM kiddo! Our DM kiddos love to have fun with dancers at the Big Event. You will see them dancing and playing around in the main lounge and all throughout the IMU.

10. Video games in the Ascended Electronics Room: We will have a variety of games to play in the Ascended Electronics room located next to the main lounge.Take a break from dancing to play against DM kiddos and dancers in your favorite games!

11. Meet a family: One of the most rewarding parts of the Big Event is meeting the families we support. Take the time to meet and visit as many family rooms as possible to hear about their journey and bravery throughout their time at the hospital.

12. Receive 5 donations: Fighting until the end means we fight throughout the big event! Reach out to 5 new people to ask for their support as you make it through the 24 hours.

13. Raise $100 and receive a campaign headband: What better way to remember the movement we’ve created than a headband with our campaign on it?! Receive a “We Fight Together” headband to wear during the Big Event if you raise $100.

14. Watch a movie in the Iowa theater: Take a break from standing by watching a 2-hour movie in the Iowa theater. Many DM kiddos and families also attend these movies, making it a great way to bond with them.

15. Lip sync battle: If you’re ready to lip sync “Single Ladies” by Beyonce on stage, find your way to the lip sync battle happening during the night. Watch dancers and leadership members lip sync their hearts out to their favorite songs.

16. Jazzercise: This event always happens about halfway through the night, when everyone starts to feel a little sleepy. Trained jazzercise instructors take over the main stage and create a super fun atmosphere that will definitely wake you up again!

17. Karaoke: If you start to feel tired of dancing, mix it up by visiting our karaoke room! Grab a group of friends and sing along to your favorite song!

18. Watch the entertainment acts: The main stage will have some incredible performances including our main acts:

Country and soul singer Natascha Myers

R&B acapella group Kazual

Comedy juggler Nick Thomas

19. Kiddo talent show: Watch the amazing skills, talents, and passions of our DM kiddos in the kiddo talent show! Talents range from dancing to singing, magic tricks to gymnastics, and much more.

20. Visit the snack shack: You will get hungry after all the dancing and running around you will do. Luckily, we will have a snack shack you can visit at any time to keep you moving during the 24 hours.

21. We’re Halfway There: Sing ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ at the halfway mark to not only rejuvenate but motivate you for the second half of the Big Event!

22. Visit the DIH room: Our kids that have lost their battle with cancer will always remain dancing in our hearts. Visit our dedicated room that celebrates their lives, read about their journeys, and look through special keepsakes and memories provided by their families.

23. Kiddo Graduation: Every year we welcome a new group of graduates as they celebrate 5 years cancer free! Come show your support for our kids and families during this special and emotional ceremony.

24. Power Hour: The energy in the IMU during the last hour of the Big Event is a once in a lifetime experience. Everyone in the main lounge will receive a green glow stick and we will dance our hearts out for the last hour of the Big Event!

25. Tote board reveal: After all our hard work during the year, the final tote board will reveal just how many miracles we will be able to deliver to our Dance Marathon families. There are lots of hugs, smiles, and tears of joy making this an incredible moment for every dancer!

26. Circle of Hope: After the tote board reveal, we gather to not only reflect on the last 24 hours, but to celebrate our entire year of work in Dance Marathon. You won’t want to miss this special bonding moment for all of our dancers, volunteers, alumni, kiddos, and families.

 By: Ally Gibson, Public Relations Committee, DM 26