Smiles mix with sweat, ear drums ring, hearts pound, and the children dance with more energy than anyone thought possible. Morale Captains line the stage and the DJs build the music faster and faster without pause.
All of a sudden, the last 24 hours have come to a head — the flash of a newly bald head, dancing among the families that the whole marathon revolves around, mixes with the voices of the University of Iowa’s youth. They shout and dance and yell for the kids — who aren’t so much younger than themselves.
Power Hour captures it all with a furious and blood pumping passion.
“I think of Dance Marathon as a lot of sad moments and happy moments,” veteran dancer Molly Lipman said. “Power Hour is more like the celebration of the life of the families, of us fundraising — everything just coming together.”
Tired feet beat the ground and voices get lost in the noise. But the fact that the students dance anyway moves those watching.
“It makes me tear up,” said Janice Woerner, whose son was diagnosed with leukemia. “It’s really overwhelming how caring strangers can be for our family, for kids they don’t even know.”
And for the Bassett family, Power Hour is touching them even after they lost their daughter to cancer.
“This is the first year we’ve ever been able to stay for power hour,” Lindsey Bassett said. “It’s incredible.”
Power Hour is for everyone, just like Dance Marathon is. Visitors, students, volunteers, and families come together in simple celebration — ending the 24 hours together.
“It’s like giving all you’ve got left for them — for the kids,” new dancer Abbie Wilson said.