Cars-theme refueling station keeps dancers awake with snacks, meals

Dancers refuel at Cars-theme pit stops equipped with food from local sponsors.

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Cars-theme refueling station keeps dancers awake with snacks, meals

Flo's Cafe is seen at Dance Marathon in the IMU on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Flo's Cafe is seen at Dance Marathon in the IMU on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Flo's Cafe is seen at Dance Marathon in the IMU on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Flo's Cafe is seen at Dance Marathon in the IMU on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

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Weary from dancing all night long, dancers made pit stops at the snack tables and for meals to refuel early on the morning of Feb. 3.

At the snack shop near the north end of the IMU, dancers stopped to choose from a plethora of carbohydrates and sugary snacks, including dry cereal, granola bars, and pudding cups.

“We have snacks to keep the dancers moving — sugar, a lot of sugar,” said Brian Crawford, a volunteer for the snack stop.

Keeping with the Cars theme, the snack shack was designed like a repair shop, in which a cardboard version of Lightning McQueen’s transport truck, Mack, accompanied the snack table. A few feet away, a water jug with cups sat underneath a “gas station” sign.

Dance Marathon also offers four meals throughout the weekend from the River Room. Volunteers served Panchero’s burritos Friday night, a Blue Bunny ice-cream snack in the early morning, breakfast at dawn, and a Panda Express lunch in the afternoon.

Dancers eat in shifts. At 8:30 a.m., a line aggregated from the south side of the IMU ground floor all the way to the Main Lounge entrance to shuffle people in.

“We have the dancers all line up and they come at us like animals,” said Eric Ortiz, who serves on the operations committee.

Hospitality Chair Lindsay Randklev, who organized all the food, spent three years on the sponsorship committee and stepped up as the hospitality head this year because she loved working with the sponsors and making kids happy with food.

“It makes everyone happy. It keeps everyone going,” Randklev said. “When you see the look on dancers’ faces when they get food, it’s a great feeling.”

Dancers pay a $50 sign-up fee that funds merchandise and snack food for the dancers. Morale Leader Jenna Jablonski said she appreciates the local sponsors.

“I think it’s incredible that people are willing to donate all this food for us to continue to make sure that all of our money that we raise goes straight to the kids,” Jablonski said.

Getting food offers a break for dancers, but several dancers said the food is just another way for dancers to refuel and get going again.

“It gets inhaled pretty quickly, and then you’re back out there,” third-year dancer Catherine King said.

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