You’ve probably seen the mass of students in polos clustered around Turlington. If you’re reading this, you must’ve wondered what could possibly unite hundreds of college students to gather in the heart of campus every week. What do all of the colored shirts represent? What led them to join Dance Marathon at the University of Florida?
Dani, a 2019 Emerging Leader and 2020 Dancer Relations Captain, first heard about DM through a presentation at Preview. She applied for the Emerging Leader Program without knowing a single other person in the organization. It was one of the best decisions she said she has made during her time at UF.
“DM has the most incredible people on UF’s campus,” Dani said. “Through my Captain team, I have been introduced to some of the most genuine and empathetic people I’ve ever met. Beyond my team, whether it be Dancers, ELPs, Captains or even the Miracle Children, I am constantly amazed by the kindness and positivity of the people I meet through DM.”
DM is one of UF’s largest organizations. Thus, there is a role for anyone and everyone to play! Whether you are passionate about Public Relations, Finance, Hospitality or Multimedia, you have the opportunity to apply your talents to any of our 16 Captain Teams. Furthermore, you get to make a tangible impact on your campus, community and children fighting for a chance at life.
Other ways to get involved include being an Emerging Leader, a Dancer or an Ambassador.
Some students participate because they themselves were treated at a children’s hospital. Others know a friend or a family member who has had an experience at a hospital. They’ve seen first-hand the impact that donations can have on the kids and families treated by a local CMN Hospital.
Harrison, a 2019 Dancer and 2020 Ambassador, immediately saw people wearing DM shirts and apparel when he first came to UF. His Organization first explained what Dance Marathon is and what it represents. He felt that not many of his current brothers were involved within DM, and change needed to happen. Being a Dancer his freshman year was the final push he needed to become an Ambassador for Dance Marathon at his Organization.
“This was one of the best decisions I’ve made at my time at the University of Florida,” Harrison said. “Dance Marathon is not just about what you do here at UF, or the actual 26.2 hour event, but it’s a way of life. Joining Dance Marathon will impact you for years to come.”
Emily, a 2018 Public Relations Overall and 2019 Family Relations Captain, understands the lasting impression and life-changing effect DM can have. It was her time visiting Miracle Children in the hospital where she was able to witness the ways that nurses have the ability to directly impact children and their families.
This inspired her to pursue a career in nursing. Today, each time she enters her Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, she is reminded of some of her favorite little heart heroes, like Bailey A., Kendall L. and Bella N., who give her the push to provide her patients with the best care.
“Having the chance to form relationships with different families that have benefited from the care at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital turned out to be a pivotal chapter in my life and career path,” Emily said.
At DM events, Miracle Children are treated like rock stars. From a Hospitality Night at PDQ to our Color Run 5k to our Main Event, these children get to be seen as a kid first and their conditions or treatments second.
However, we need students like you to ensure that these children get to keep experiencing these unforgettable moments of joy and innocence.
No matter which position you are drawn to, DM introduces you to people with the same passion for helping people and provides you with lasting friendships. Members of DM are able to connect with their college and feel proud of what its students are striving for.