Dance Marathon participants are ‘re-energized’ as they reach the halfway point

Dancers, captains, and representatives have reached the halfway point at this year’s 26th annual Dance Marathon. Despite a lack of sleep and constant movement, the fight “for the kids” continues.


Katie Goodale

Dancers participate in the halfway mark of Dance Marathon in the IMU Main Ballroom on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Dancers listened to “Livin on a Prayer” to mark the halfway point.

Annie Fitzpatrick, News Reporter

In a sea of lime green, tie-dye, purple, pink, blue, and accompanied by University of Iowa mascot Herky the Hawkeye, dancers at the 26th annual Dance Marathon reached the halfway mark in the IMU ballroom after 12 hours of dancing by early Saturday morning.

Despite the long hours and constant movement, dancers are feeling energized and empowered to continue their fight “for the kids” as they dance to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.”

UI freshman, dancer, and lime representative Jaden Kern said she had the opportunity to “step into leadership” at the 2020 Big Event to prepare her for future years involved with the organization. Kern said that the halfway mark has re-energized her as the night continues.

“I’m tired and a bit crashing,” Kern said. “But I’m excited, and the halfway and power hour are the best parts of the whole 24 hours…”

Kern said that, although each different aspect of the 24-hour event is fun and exciting, it’s important to remember the overall purpose of Dance Marathon.

“My favorite part was listening to My Family Story, because it just makes you realize how real this actually is,” Kern said.

RELATED: Dance Marathon 26 kicks off ‘For the Kids’

This is UI sophomore and dancer Austin Torrence’s second year participating in Dance Marathon, which he said he has a personal connection to in terms of the awareness and money it raises in the fight against cancer. 

Moments before the halfway mark, Torrence said that he was feeling the effects of being up for so long, but excited to tackle the hurtle of making it another 12 hours.

“I’m very tired and my feet hurt a little bit, but other than that I’m feeling pretty good at the halfway point,” he said. “Twelve more to go.”

Making it to the halfway mark and belting out Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” marks a noticeable “shift in energy,” said UI senior and lime representative Lexi Gonzales. She said that 2:00 am until 5:00 am is the most difficult time frame because most of the families have gone home and students are trying to push through.

However, once dancers and captains reach the 12-hour mark, they become more excited to keep dancing.

Addy Glassburn, UI senior and lime representative, said that the 12-hour mark serves as a reminder to dancers of how far they have come. 

“You reach that big step and then, from there, you know you’ve reached the halfway point,” Glassburn said. “So there’s a lot going on and everyone’s excited for the families to come back in the morning.”

Glassburn said that she originally joined for the energy, but was eager to be a part of leadership after seeing the event’s impacts on the families.

“I’m a fourth year,” she said. “So I want to leave my lasting impact and bring new students to this organization.”

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