Dance Marathon is neither dance nor marathon; it is a celebration of life. (It’s also a fundraiser!)

Dance Marathon at Iowa State University has been helping children with life threatening illnesses for 23 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 Stead Family Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network. Here is an example of some of the things our program has supported and continues to 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
  • Hemodynamics program for the NICU

In 2018, Dance Marathon at Iowa State University made a commitment of $700,000 donated to the Neonatal Hemodynamics program over the next two years. Hemodynamics is a program that supports the healthy hearts of neonatal infants, helping the most innocent and vulnerable of children to continue fighting for their lives beginning from birth. We are so proud to announce that after Dance Marathon 2020, we have FUNDED HEMODYNAMICS!

At ISU, we celebrate Dance Marathon in January. Miracle Makers 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. 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’s Big Event. After a dancer raises $250, they get to come to the party in January. In 2020, we raised $340,522.23 For The Kids. Since its beginning, Dance Marathon has raised a total of $4.4 million for the hospital in Iowa City.

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 at Iowa State holds a 15 hour long celebration of life and supports over 40 families from across Iowa. Dance Marathon represents a life-changing experience, complete with the opportunity to meet Iowa children and families who have been directly impacted by University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Each year, Dance Marathon at Iowa State 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!
Our Big Event for Dance Marathon 2021 will be held at the Memorial Union in the Great Hall on Saturday, January 23! The event runs from 9am Saturday morning to 12am. We would love for you to join the movement and help us be 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

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