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Dance Marathon is neither dance nor marathon; it is a celebration of life.  (It’s also a fundraiser.)
Iowa State Dance Marathon has been helping children with life threatening illnesses for 22 years, giving financial and emotional support to hundreds of families across Iowa. All of the money raised through our event is given directly to University of Iowa Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network. Here are a few examples to where our fundraising efforts support:

  • Library materials
  • Patient support “comfort kits”–parking and food vouchers for family members during extended stays
  • Music therapy equipment
  • Infant CPR training kits
  • Surgery teaching model
  • Diversion tools
  • Zaky positioning tool in NICU–a parental simulation tool to stimulate development in premature infants
  • Video laryngoscope for PICU
  • MRI vision distraction tools
  • Continual improvement in recreational therapy
  • Funding the building of the new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital



At ISU we celebrate Dance Marathon Weekend in January. Dancers stay on their feet for 15 hours to symbolize our support for the families who spend countless hours in hospital waiting rooms. We listen to music, play games, hang out with the kids we support, and even do a bit of dancing. Dance Marathon is for the kids, and at Iowa State, that’s always our focus. ISU Dance Marathon is a 365 day commitment to raising money for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital; with that comes the yearly celebration of our hard work during Dance Marathon Weekend. After a dancer raises $250, they get to come to the party in January. In 2018, we raised $332,763.21 for the kids. Since its beginning, Dance Marathon has raised a total of $3.5 million for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

The first Dance Marathon at Iowa State was held in the spring of 1998. The event was sponsored by the Greek Interfraternity and Panhellenic Governing Councils, 10 hours long, and held in the basement of State Gym. The day was a great success and raised over $20,000. Much has changed since that first Dance Marathon. Today, Dance Marathon holds two 12-hour celebrations of life and supports over 80 families from across Iowa. Dance Marathon represents a life-changing experience, complete with the opportunity to meet Iowa children and families who have directly benefited from University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Each year ISU Dance Marathon continues to grow and make a larger impact on our families across Iowa.  With your help, we hope to continue this wonderful tradition of college students making a difference! Dance Marathon 2017 will be held at the Memorial Union in the Great Hall on Friday, January 20, and Saturday, January 21, as two individual events. The Friday event is from 7pm to 7am Saturday morning, and the Saturday Event is from 11am to 11pm. We would love for you to join the movement and help us “Kick It For the Kids”! For more information on Iowa State University Dance Marathon, please e-mail us at

For more information on the national Dance Marathon organization, check out