City High Dance Marathon Update


Sarah Smith

City High students at 2017 Dance Marathon

Carly Weigel, Reporter

Dance Marathon is a student-run, non-profit organization at City High whose goal is to improve the lives of children with pediatric cancer. Dance Marathon at City High has been raising money to spread awareness for the past six years, dedicating countless hours to improve the welfare of those with pediatric cancer.

“The University of Iowa has many dance marathons, and that’s what ours is,” leadership member Alexa Fredericks ‘19 said. “All of our money goes toward their total and the Stead Family Children’s Hospital.”

The University of Iowa Dance Marathon is the third-largest in the country, behind Penn State and Indiana. UI Dance Marathon is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. According to their website, they will be putting on the “Big Event” — a 24-hour Dance Marathon, if the dancers can remain standing — on February 1-2, 2019.

“It’s so inspiring and so well put-on that I think everyone was inspired to make their own,” Fredericks said. “I know a lot of elementary schools have done dance marathons before, so I think that’s where the high schoolers got their idea.”

Located in room 3107 with Mrs. Suchomel, the club of about 30 members plans an annual party which will fall on January 19th of this year in the City High cafeteria. This year, the theme is beach party; the next two weeks will be spent shopping for decorations.

“Anyone can dance,” Fredericks said. “It’s a great atmosphere for the kids and it’s really positive. I think anyone would have a good time if they came.”

There are many different reasons members have joined the club. Some dance because of personal experience with pediatric cancer.

“My mother had pediatric cancer. She said it was really lonely in the hospital and what they’re doing for kids now is so inspiring,” Fredericks said. “I just think it’s a great cause.”

Fredericks said she was able to meet with a few families who have gone through the struggles of pediatric cancer.

“I see the smiles that Dance Marathon puts on their faces,” she said. “At the UI Dance Marathon event, they have this thing called the ‘graduation ceremony,’ which is five years cancer-free. I saw that there were 20 kids in that. It was so incredible, such a big moment in their lives and I’m glad that I was able to be part of it.”

The club is still going strong. Last year they raised $4,000, and this year they are hopeful for more donations.

“We’re excited to see where it goes because we’re still an expanding program,” Fredericks said. “We’d like to be bigger and better than ever, so we just have to keep making improvements and it will grow.”