UI Dance Marathon 26 launches ‘We Fight Together’ campaign

University of Iowa Dance Marathon develops new campaign aimed at fostering community and fighting as one.

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UI Dance Marathon 26 launches ‘We Fight Together’ campaign

Dancers cheer on Ravidrums during Dance Marathon 25 at the Iowa Memorial Union on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

Dancers cheer on Ravidrums during Dance Marathon 25 at the Iowa Memorial Union on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Dancers cheer on Ravidrums during Dance Marathon 25 at the Iowa Memorial Union on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Wyatt Dlouhy

Dancers cheer on Ravidrums during Dance Marathon 25 at the Iowa Memorial Union on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

Rachel Steil, News Reporter

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Dance Marathon will aim to foster a spirit of unity in this year’s fight “For The Kids.”

University of Iowa Dance Marathon recently announced that it will celebrate the chapter’s 26th year with the slogan “We Fight Together.” 

Dance Marathon Executive Director Allie Stutting initially pitched the “We Fight Together” campaign to the executive board. She said members of the executive board fell in love with the idea instantly. 

“The first night [the executive board was] together, we just started running with it and talking about things that we could do with the campaign,” Stutting said. 

She said this year’s campaign is very different from last year’s campaign, and she believes this will be a positive change.

“Last year’s campaign was called ‘Shape Your Impact,’ which was all about what you could do as an individual,” Stutting said. “This year, it is all about what we can do together.”

Stutting emphasized the power of connection and community and said this campaign’s theme is integral to the fight against pediatric cancer. 

“I really believe in the strength in numbers,” Stutting said. “My biggest goal for the campaign was that everyone knew they were connected to a family.”

UI senior Aaron Caldwell, a Dance Marathon Morale Captain, said he is already seeing changes from last year because of the new campaign and said he believes the slogan is accomplishing its goals. 

“From what I am seeing this year already … our dancers want to get more involved,” Caldwell said, comparing the energy associated with this campaign with what he saw last year as a member of the group’s recruitment and retention committee.

Caldwell credits this to the message of community instilled in the slogan, “We Fight Together.” Stutting agreed, saying the message is one of empowerment through numbers and community.

“The goal is to have everybody feel like they can be connected to the campaign and that they can join this fight against cancer,” Stutting said. “It was our goal to foster community, celebrate difference, and ignite as one.” 

UI Dance Marathon Lime Captain Valerie Gunn said she feels that the campaign is spreading its message well and bringing the organization together as a whole unit. 

“There are so many different levels of people in Dance Marathon,” Gunn said. “It makes everyone seem equally as important, which they are.”

Caldwell said he believes this campaign will really drive people to make a difference, and he’s found his own meaning in the campaign. 

“I started working at the hospital, and a woman I worked with came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, I see you are doing Dance Marathon,’ ” Caldwell said. “She ended up telling me that her son was diagnosed with pediatric cancer when he was younger, and they are a Dance Marathon family.”

This drove him to join the cause, Caldwell said, and to fight for and support his co-worker’s family. 

“We all are fighting for the same cause,” he said.

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