Dance Marathon sees changes amid COVID-19

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WIth COVID-19 putting mass gatherings on hold, some have been wondering what will happen to Dance Marathon’s Big Event.

Karla DeBruin, Managing Editor

Every spring, UNI Dance Marathon participants dance for 24 hours. They wear their brightest orange shirts, paint their faces and dance to raise money for children who are in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, but this year things are looking different.

Typically the Big Event is held late February to early March. This year, Dance Marathon have not publicly released their plans for the event, but Marking Director Nicole Hassenstab said they do have a date in mind.

This year, all the money they raise will go towards the hospital’s library. They don’t have a specific goal in mind; they just want to raise as much as they can for the kids.

For the Big Event, “Miracle Kiddos” and their families are invited. Due to COVID-19, participants have not been able to see them in person.

“As an organization, safety is our top priority, so we have been adapting to the COVID-19 guidelines,” Hassenstab wrote in an email to the Northern Iowan. “Not being able to see (the Miracle Kiddos) in person has been hard, but we have been fortunate enough to be able to host virtual family events, have families speak to dancers over Zoom and continue to reach out to the kiddos and their families to see what they need and how we can best sup- port them.”

Dance Marathon has helped change lives for many families. Hassenstab stated, “For me personally, Dance Marathon has changed the way I think about the little things in life. Dance Marathon proves how one person can make a huge difference in the life of a family you may never even meet.”

She continued, “Even the smallest of sacrifices like giving up your morn- ing coffee and donating that money instead can add up to help fund life saving research, equipment or facilities.”

What can you do if you’re not involved in Dance Marathon already? You can still register. Go to their website unidancemarathon.com to register or donate to the cause.

“Everyone has a place in this organization because we are stronger together and the stronger our organization is, the more miracles we can make happen for the kiddos who need it the most,” said Hassenstab.