University of Iowa Dance Marathon 26 participants dance it out at Power Hour

In the last hour of the 26th UI Dance Marathon, dancers come together for a final hour of upbeat music and dancing before the Dancing in our Hearts video and final fundraising total.


Katina Zentz

Participants dance during the Power Hour in UI Dance Marathon 26 at the Iowa Memorial Union on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

Rin Swann, News Reporter

In the last hour of the Big Event, Dance Marathon participants crowded together in a huddle, clutching glowsticks in their palms. Upbeat music played in the background, a constant reminder of energy as the party continued. Most have been awake and standing for 23 hours, but in the final push of the event, not one dancer seems ready to give up. 

This is the Dance Marathon Power hour: the last hour of the 24 hours of Dance Marathon. Designed to reinvigorate the dancer, Power Hour provides a final dance for participants before Dance Marathon 26 disbands for the year. 

Power Hour immediately following a fundraising push, where Dance Marathon had raised $35,000 in an hour. 

“The energy of the room was just super overwhelming, and the fact that it’s all going back to the kids just really makes you feel good in your heart,” said UI freshman dancer Jack Tierney. “The mood of the night right now is just super hype. Everyone is going crazy. There are glow sticks, Herky is crowd surfing in there … I can’t say I’ve seen anything like it in Iowa City.”

This year, over 2,500 dancers in attendance raised over $500 for pediatric cancer and leadership members raised over $1000 in anticipation of the Big Event. 

The Power Hour opened with morale captains dancing on stage and a provided video for dancers to follow along. Songs included “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman, before switching to other songs. DJs mock-argued over the song selection before playing the opening of the Lion King. Song choices then moved to more upbeat selections. 

“I’m feeling a little tired but it’s really hype in there,” said Mollie Rooney, a sophomore lime captain. “So it’s making it all better and it’s making it all worth it. I feel like we did a lot better job this year than last year because I was a freshman last year. We just did a lot more in-event fundraising which is new this year so I think that’s going to have a big impact on the tote board and just a lot of different, unique ways to fundraise …”

Following Power Hour, the Big Event will close with the “Dancing in our Hearts” video which honors children who have passed away, and the final tote board, which calculates the final amount raised. 

“I’m just excited to see that tote board,” said fifth-year participant Ashley Mitchell. “I’m excited to see all the miracles we made this year and just celebrate with everyone for what we’ve done.”