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The best 24 hours of the year have finally arrived! Over 2,000 UI students started gathering in the main ballroom of IMU to begin the biggest event of the entire year, Dance Marathon. As each dancer searched to find their morale group, hearts were nervous and excited.

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The University of Iowa Spirit Squad members pumped the crowd before morale captains and families were introduced. Herky and Perky were so proud to be repping their DM lime green and helped to get everyone energized for the next 24 hours.

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The morale captains showcased the brand new morale dance for all of the families and dancers. They were so happy to be on stage and their impressive dance moves proved it. The stage was shaking as the music blasted and the leaders in red kick-started the night.

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Hundreds of kiddos reached for high-fives as their families were announced up on the big stage. Their smiles were contagious and the entire ballroom lit up. As family members were walking on stage, they turned to dancers and said, “Thank you so much for all that you do.” There is nothing more inspiring than hearing from the families that you love and fight for each day as a part of this amazing organization.

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At the end of the first hour, the dancers and families looked at the quilt in the back of the ballroom to remember those who are forever dancing in our hearts. There is a candle that burns for the entire event honoring these special children and it symbolizes that each and every dancer will not burn out or give up during the next 24 hours. These kiddos never gave up so we will never give up on them. We will stand. We will laugh. We will cry. And we will dance. All For The Kids.

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