Dance Marathon’s all-ages family rooms for breaking from dancing

Children+play+in+the+Cars+theme+room+in+the+second+floor+ballroomduring+dance+Marathon+24+on+Friday+Feb.+2%2C+2018.+Dance+Marathon+raises+money+for+pediatric+cancer+research.+%28Katie+Goodale%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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Dance Marathon’s all-ages family rooms for breaking from dancing

Children play in the Cars theme room in the second floor ballroomduring dance Marathon 24 on Friday Feb. 2, 2018. Dance Marathon raises money for pediatric cancer research. (Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan)

Children play in the Cars theme room in the second floor ballroomduring dance Marathon 24 on Friday Feb. 2, 2018. Dance Marathon raises money for pediatric cancer research. (Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Katie

Children play in the Cars theme room in the second floor ballroomduring dance Marathon 24 on Friday Feb. 2, 2018. Dance Marathon raises money for pediatric cancer research. (Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Katie

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Katie

Children play in the Cars theme room in the second floor ballroomduring dance Marathon 24 on Friday Feb. 2, 2018. Dance Marathon raises money for pediatric cancer research. (Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan)

Andy Mitchell, [email protected]

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Once again, Dance Marathon provides a quiet corner for parents and kids to decompress from the hectic, energetic atmosphere.

This year’s theme is Pixar’s Cars, and as such, the IMU has been designed with a variety of Cars-theme decorations and activities. Kenzie Kennedy, one of Dance Marathon’s family programming chairs, said it’s following a recent Disney-theme trend. A couple themes in the conceptual stage were based on Despicable Me and The Lion King.

“I tried to pick something that was still a little bit relevant that kids young and a little bit older would like,” Kennedy said.

Inclusion was the key, said Katie Finch, the co-chair of family programming.

“We just wanted to keep it universal, something that we can bring to life throughout the entire IMU,” she said.

In the IMU Second-Floor Ballroom, Dance Marathon filled the family room with a variety of Cars-theme decorations, arts and crafts tables, and a large inflatable bounce house.

Kennedy and Finch saw a second floor full of fun for the young guests. Kennedy said she saw it on the faces of the kids in the family room playing in the bounce house.

“We’ve got the candy flowing, sugar’s going,” Finch said. “They’re raiding the prize table already, so I think they’re having a good time.”

Another attraction for Dance Marathon families is the Best Buy room, which is set up with video-game systems young and old from the Super Nintendo to the PlayStation 4, a returning attraction from previous years. The room also has more physical games, such as corn hole.

Dance Marathon staffer Ben Flaherty said he enjoyed working the Best Buy room.

“It’s just playing games with kids; it’s really fun,” he said.

In addition, Dance Marathon set up screenings of the movie Cars in the Iowa Theater.

Photos: Dance Marathon 24 (hours 1-3)