Dance Marathon 2021

We were so excited to see everyone safely at the O'Connell Center on April 10 - 11, 2021!

Below is information on Dance Marathon at the University of Florida's Main Event on April 10-11. Our main priority is keeping our members, Miracle Families and community safe while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the world. We worked with UF Screen, Test & Protect Program and the Stephen C. O’Connell Center to establish safe protocols and guidelines during our in-person event. The Main Event occurred in two 13.1-hour shifts, Orange Shift 1 on April 10 from 8 a.m. to 9:06 p.m. and Blue Shift 2 on April 11 from 6 a.m. to 7:06 p.m.

We also offered a virtual event option that provided participants with a complete Main Event experience. The virtual option was open to anyone to accommodate varying levels of comfortability with their attendance to Dance Marathon 2021.

The Main Event looked different than it has the last 26 years, but we were excited for the opportunity to change and grow. After establishing safety protocols, our priority was to provide a memorable experience for all of our members while creating miracles for the children treated at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

Follow us on social media for event updates!

Main Event FAQs

We have provided specific questions for the following general groups:

All Participants

Dance Marathon at UF is working closely with UF Health Screen, Test & Protect to ensure that the Main Event can safely occur following the University of Florida and CDC event guidelines. Dr. Cindy Prins, the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect Campus Infection Preventionist, has reviewed the current Main Event safety plan. DM at UF will continue to work with Dr. Prins and UF Health Screen, Test & Protect as we plan for the Main Event.

All UF students attending the Dance Marathon at UF Main Event will be required to provide proof of a “Cleared” status on their ONE.UF to indicate that they are cleared to attend campus events. We are advising all members to limit unnecessary exposures for two weeks leading up to the Main Event to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. All members will have their temperatures checked before entering the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Temperatures must be below 100.4° to attend the Main Event.

On-site volunteer medical staff will be available to assist with any injuries or illnesses that may occur throughout the Main Event.

The O’Connell Center and UF Health Screen, Test & Protect have adjusted capacities to allow for physical distancing. Capacities are broken down according to each location in the O’Connell Center and will be strictly enforced.

All participants will be required to wear a face covering for the duration of the Main Event.

Masks with exhalation valves or vents that allow air to be expelled are prohibited because they do not provide protection to others.

In addition, neck gaiters and bandanas should not be worn unless no other face covering is available.

Participants will be asked to arrive with their own face covering, however, we will have disposable masks available if someone forgets their face covering.

Visitors’ contact with UF students will be as limited as possible.

Thorough and frequent cleaning procedures will be done throughout the O’Connell Center during the Main Event. This will include but is not limited to, hydrostatic sprayers, routinely disinfecting highly trafficked surfaces and hand sanitizing stations.
Yes! The Main Event will be live-streamed on various social media platforms. There will be additional opportunities for Dancers, Captains, Emerging Leaders, Ambassadors, high schoolers and visitors to attend virtually. Visit the Dance Marathon 2021 Virtual Event page to learn more about our virutal options.
These plans have been developed within the current CDC, Florida Department of Health and University of Florida guidelines for managing an event space while preventing the spread and transmission of COVID-19. All information is subject to change to achieve our goal of keeping members, Miracle Families and our community safe.
Two shifts allow us to provide more Dancer spots while keeping our members safe and following the capacities from the O’Connell Center.
Orange Shift 1: April 10, 8 a.m. - 9:06 p.m.
Blue Shift 2: April 11, 6 a.m. - 7:06 p.m.
Visitors must be invited by Dance Marathon at UF to attend the Main Event. Visitor invitations have been sent out for the Main Event.

Visitor invitations are in place to ensure the safety of our members and prevent the outside spread of COVID-19.

The Main Event will be live-streamed to provide a virtual opportunity for visitors to tune in to the event and stay up to date on what is happening live at the O’Connell Center.
Dancers will preference shifts once their spot is confirmed. We cannot guarantee which shift a Dancer will be assigned due to space availability. Please see the Dancer FAQ section for more information on shifts, preference deadlines and Dancer groups.

Captains will coordinate with their Overall Director to preference their assignments. Please see the Captain FAQ section for more information.

Emerging Leaders will be assigned shifts based on their Unit. Please see the Emerging Leader FAQ section for more information.
Similar engagement will be provided at Orange Shift 1 and Blue Shift 2. Our goal is to provide the same experience for all Dancers, regardless of the shift. Each shift will include Theme Hours, Linedances, fundraising incentives and more.
Captains, Emerging Leaders, Dancers, Ambassadors and Kristyn's Krew will be invited back to attend our Total Reveal in person. All members will be physically distanced in the 100 and 200 level stands for Total Reveal. The reveal will be live-streamed on DM at UF social media platforms for anyone to tune in.
Meals will be provided to Dancers at the Main Event. All meals will be served by Hospitality Captains who will wear gloves and sanitize frequently. Participants will be instructed to eat outside under covered parking garages or under tents. Additional information regarding food safety will be provided to those groups.

Miracles Families

The duration of time that each Miracle Family can be present in the O’Connell Center will vary depending on the number of families who are interested in attending. Please lookout for an email from the Family Relations Overall, Courtney Kerwin, to indicate your interest level. Once this information is collected, Family shifts will be announced.
We are committed to the health and safety of all of our Miracle Families and members. To ensure the safety of our Miracle Children there will be routine cleaning and sanitizing procedures throughout the O’Connell Center. Each child’s medical team must approve, review or advise their attendance to Dance Marathon 2021. More details will be provided regarding Miracle Child involvement. If you have further questions please contact


The Dancer experience will uphold the traditional Dancer experience while adapting to CDC guidelines. Dancer shifts will include Miracle Stories, Theme Hours, entertainment, meals and more. Dancers will stand, if able, with no sleep and no caffeine for the duration of their 13.1-hour shift in solidarity with every child affected by pediatric illness.
Dancers will preference shifts once their Dancer spot is confirmed on March 26. We cannot guarantee which shift a Dancer will be assigned due to space availability. Dancers will have until Tuesday, March 30 at 12 p.m. to preference their shifts and until Friday, April 2 to confirm their spot in that specific shift.

Dancers will sign up with a group of two to four members of their Organization which will serve as their QuaranTeam for the duration of the shift. They will be in the same Dancer Group as their QuaranTeam.
A Dancer Group is a small group of approximately 20 Dancers who will remain together for the duration of the Main Event. Groups will remain physically distanced throughout the event. Each Dancer Group will be paired with a Dancer Relations Captain or a Recruitment Captain. Dancer Groups will rotate throughout the O’Connell Center periodically to ensure that everyone can experience all aspects of the Main Event while following the O’Connell Center capacities.
Dancer spots will be allocated to each Organization based on their yearlong fundraising and involvement.

Organizations select Dancers from their Registered Dancer lists and submit the names to DM at UF. Organization Dancer lists will be due by March 26.


Ambassadors are encouraged to register to dance, meaning that they would be assigned to one shift. There will be a designated area for Ambassadors to come during either shift to assist their Organization’s Dancers.
No, every Dancer from an Organization may be in the same shift but that is unlikely. Dancers from each Organization will be split into each shift.
Fundraising levels are determined based on an Organization’s fundraising, Spirit Points and the number of locked Dancers. When combined, Organizations will be placed into a fundraising level and compete against other Organizations for their spot. Fundraising levels will determine the number of Dancers from each Organization who can attend the Main Event. More information will be provided to Ambassadors regarding fundraising levels.


Captains will be assigned different times to attend depending on the Captain Team’s role in the Main Event. The duration of shifts will vary depending on the Team’s role. Your Overall Director will assign shifts closer to the Main Event.

All Captains will be invited to attend the Overnight Captain & ELP Engagement.

The 200 level stands will be reserved for Captains for the duration of the Main Event to observe the Dancer shifts.
Please contact your Overall Director for individual team changes.

Emerging Leaders Program

Emerging Leaders will attend one Dancer shift, assigned based on their Unit.
Emerging Leaders will have specific roles for their shifts and will be able to experience the entirety of a shift at the Main Event. More details will be provided throughout the semester from the Leadership Development Captain Team.

High Schoolers

More details will be provided regarding high school in-person visitor involvement at the Main Event. If you have further questions, please email
High schoolers will have the opportunity to engage with DM at UF over various social media platforms. The Marathon Relations Teams will provide information on additional virtual engagement opportunities for high school programs.
Dance Marathon at UF does not provide accommodations for visitors.

For additional questions, email

2019 Event Livestream