The “A → Z” Guide to Dancing

A- Ambition. Ambition is defined as a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. As a Dancer, you symbolize ambition. Ambition drove you to take on this challenge of standing for 26.2 hours. You have the ambition to create miracles for the children at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and to fight to end childhood illnesses.

B- Balloon. The balloon icon is a core element of the Children’s Miracle Network brand. Dance Marathon uses the balloon to represent our purpose of providing hope to our Miracle Families. This balloon appears on Dance Marathon merchandise, all over at the event, and on the equipment at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital that was funded by DM. When Miracle Families take the stage to speak, we raise our hands over our head in the shape of a balloon, to show our respect and gratitude to them.

C- Caffeine Free. Although you will need lots of energy to dance for 26.2 hours, Dancers cannot consume caffeine at the event. But there will be plenty of excitement at the O’Dome to keep you going!

D- Dancer Walk. Dancers are able to go through different stations, from foot rubs to walking through rice, to motivate them for the final few hours. For DM’s 25th year, the Dancer Walk will be new and even more exciting for Dancers!

E- Exercise. What better way to exercise than dancing For The Kids?! If you need a break from dancing, you can still get your exercise in by participating in yoga!

F- FTK. FTK means For The Kids. Everything we do all year long and for those 26.2 hours, we do For The Kids. When it’s hour 20 and your legs are sore and all you want to do is sit, remind yourself that you are dancing FTK!

G- Gong. During the Dance Marathon event, every time you raise $100 you get to hit the Gong! The crowd will erupt with cheers, and your efforts will encourage everyone to keep fundraising throughout the event.

H- Headbands. For every $250, $500, and $750 you raise during the event, you’ll get the chance to go on stage and get headbanded by a Miracle Child! Raising money and getting to interact with the amazing miracle children? It doesn’t get any better!

I- Inspiration. Dancing at DM is a once in a lifetime experience full of love and inspiration. Hearing the miracle stories and spending time with all the Miracle Families will truly remind you of who and what you are fighting for. It is amazing to see everyone’s hard work from the year pay off as we come together for this inspiring cause.

J- (DM) Jail. DM jail is a fun way to raise money during the event. You can donate money to put your friends in “jail” and they have to raise a certain amount of money to get out!

K- Kids. This is who we are here for! The O’Dome is such a bright and happy environment as the Miracle Children run around with the biggest smiles. Make sure to spend some time with the Miracle Families and learn about their incredible journeys.

L- Linedance. Each hour, the Morale team leads all the Dancers in a super fun Linedance! Get ready to grab your best friend and dance FTK!

M- Miracle Story. Throughout the event, Miracle Children and their families will get up on stage to share their incredibly inspiring stories. DM can be super fun and wild, but Miracle Stories remind everyone of our purpose to create more miracles and end childhood illness.

N- No sleep. The purpose of DM is to stay awake and on your feet for 26.2 hours! While this may sound daunting, the Morale Captains will keep you excited throughout the event, and the Miracle Families will remind you why you’re dancing. There are TONS of fun activities to keep you going!

O- O’Dome. This is where the magic happens. Hundreds of students, children, and families, all with one purpose. To fight against childhood illness.

P- Piggy-back rides. Don’t fret, you won’t have to be on your feet the entire time! Buddies will happily give you a piggyback ride to give you a quick break before you keep on dancing!

Q- Quality time. Memories with friends and new faces that you’ll never forget. Moments spent with the Miracle Children and their families that you’ll hold onto forever.

R- Rave. Get ready to dress in neon and dance the night away with an incredible full-set performance by our favorite DJ! As the base drops at midnight, you won’t want to miss it!

S- Swim & Shower Package. Swim like a pro in the UF Swim Team’s pool, or refresh with a quick shower! Either option will rejuvenate you to get back on the dance floor! 

T- Theme Hours. Put on your craziest outfits to experience the most outrageous themes! Whether it’s DisneyLand Hour or Night on the Safari, come prepared for theme-inspired games and photo-ops!

U- Unique. There is truly no other experience like dancing for 26.2 hours For The Kids. You will forever cherish the memories that you make while dancing. The enthusiasm and love that fills the O’Dome for those 26.2 hours is indescribable – enjoy every second while it lasts.

V- Video games. All your favorite video games will be available for you to play at the event, and they sure do help pass the time! It’s the perfect way to pass the time when you’re getting tired. There are a variety of games to choose from, so get ready! Time flies when you’re playing the games.

W- Wall of Fame- If you raise $2400 or more, you earn a spot on the Wall of Fame. The event is the perfect time to show potential donors how motivated and excited you are to be dancing For The Kids. As the donations keep coming in, you’ll get closer to gaining a spot on the Wall!

X- X-box. Take a break from dancing to play some X-Box! Pass some time by playing your favorite video game – you may even get to play with some of the Miracle Children!

Y- Year 25. This year, Dance Marathon at UF is celebrating its 25th year. With this milestone, we celebrate how many miracles DM at UF has made in the past, and we focus on how many miracles we strive to make in the future. You, as a Dancer, are making such an impact on this important year. Get excited to take part in this monumental year for DM!

Z- Zzzzzz. Z stands for all those Zzz’s you’ll get once the 26.2 hours are up! Before you know it, you will be jumping into your bed for a much needed rest. Let your body relax, you deserve it!