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KNOXVILLE — Hundreds of students at the University of Tennessee are putting on their dancing shoes this week to help save the lives of children with cancer and other blood-related diseases.

UT’s Dance Marathon lasts from 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, to 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, on campus. Check-in for participants starts at 6 p.m. The event is the culmination of a year of fundraising for the hematology and oncology clinic at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

This year’s theme is “When There Is a Cure, We Will Dance for Joy! Until Then, We Will Dance for Life!” Organizers are expecting about 600 participants.

Dance Marathon, the largest student-run philanthropy on campus, has been held every year since 1995 and has raised $850,000 so far for the clinic.

UT is one of more than 80 colleges and universities around the country participating in the Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon program. Each school chooses an area hospital to benefit.

Dance Marathon is not a dance-a-thon in which students have to keep dancing all night long. Each participant raises money before the event. This year, there will be a variety of entertainment for the participants.

The event starts at HPER and later moves to TRECS after a kids’ carnival with families from East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Then there will be games, music and performances by a hypnotist, magician and ventriloquist. And, yes, there will be dancing. Participants will take dance classes and then perform a dance they learned at the end of the event.

For more information about donating to Dance Marathon, contact the Office of Student Activities at (865) 974-5455 or go to


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,

Kerri Lovegrove, Dance Marathon adviser, (865) 974-5455 or