Our Story

Dance Marathon at Florida State University holds an annual 40-hour event where more than 1,800 students stay awake and on their feet to raise money and awareness for our local beneficiaries. Our mission is For the Kids with a commitment to raising funds for children in need of specialized pediatric and medical care that otherwise are not available to them locally. Dance Marathon at FSU, the largest student-run philanthropy in the southeastern region of the United States, benefits our local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, Shands Children’s Hospital, and the FSU College of Medicine's Pediatric Outreach Programs. We are one of the five founding Miracle Network Dance Marathon's in the country!

The 40-hour event is split into two 20-hour shifts (Garnet and Gold), where dancers commit to being on their feet for 20 hours, standing for those who can’t. Dancers, volunteers, and local community members are inspired by local performing artists and student groups, sponsored theme hour activities, and by meeting local miracle families who have been directly affected by the funds raised through events like Dance Marathon at FSU and have been treated at our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. In addition to the 40-hour marathon, Dance Marathon at FSU hosts additional events throughout the year. Our mission is a year-long effort and a year-long celebration!

Facts and Figures



Dance Marathon Donations Raised at FSU

Dance Marathon at FSU is committed to making a difference in our community, $1 at a time. In 2017, Dance Marathon at FSU raised a grand total of $1,830,167.28 and since our inception in 1996, nearly $10 million For the Kids. The funds raised make the difference in providing the medical care, treatment, and research needed at Shands Children’s Hospital, our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the FSU College of Medicine.

Our Mission

We are a collective force of students, coming together to inspire and empower our community to create a better tomorrow for the kids of today. Dance Marathon at Florida State University will continue to promote our inclusive environment for our students, our families, and the generations to come. We work not only to better the lives of the families that need it most, but also to instill an atmosphere that motivates people to Do More. Through our innovative and strategic initiatives, the 2018 Dance Marathon team will invest in current relationships and foster a sense of drive and passion within our movement. We will advocate on behalf of our local Children's Miracle Network Hospital and the FSU Pediatric Outreach Programs. It's up to us, as individuals, as an organization, and as a community to give hope for tomorrow.

Our Cause

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for children's hospitals. Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida is the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital participating hospital for the Tallahassee/South Georgia, Gainesville/North Central Florida, and West Palm Beach areas.

CMN at Shands Children#&39;s Hospital is the state’s premier pediatric health center. Our donations help to provide innovative and comprehensive care, support pediatric research, and the purchase of the latest technology to maintain this high standard of clinical care. Shands Children’s Hospital has a high commitment to providing a comfortable environment for families during hospital stays, and our donations help provide many of the services and programs to make this possible.

For more information, please visit their website.

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FSU College of Medicine's Pediatric Outreach Programs

Dance Marathon at FSU is proud to support our local Tallahassee Community. In addition to supporting our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, 50% of our efforts are to support the FSU College of Medicine's Pediatric Outreach Programs. These programs include helping the school-based programs in Gadsden County, research, and more.

The principal focus of the College of Medicine is on meeting the primary-care needs of Florida's primary-care needs, with a particular emphasis on rural, minority, elderly, and other underserved populations.

Before this medical school was established in 2000, most experts thought the U.S. had too many medical schools and physicians. Research done in connection with our founding, however, began a monumental shift in that thinking. It turned out that U.S. physicians were plentiful but distributed ineffectively, especially for rural patients, and were rapidly approaching retirement age. The first FSU College of Medicine class graduated in 2005. Since then, more than half of our alumni have matched in the primary-care specialties of internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics-gynecology.

The larger goal is to serve the underserved. In that sense, producing a surgeon will serve in rural Florida is at least as valuable as producing another family physician will serve in Orlando. We strive to fulfill Florida’s need for better medical care for all of its residents.

The College of Medicine has been working with Gadsden’s health department and school district to expand its services in student health centers at James A. Shanks Middle School and George W. Munroe Elementary School. Medical school faculty, FSU medical students, and psychology graduate students work part time, thanks in large part to the donations raised by Dance Marathon.

College of Medicine Beneficiaries

FSU Center for Prevention & Early Intervention

Learn more about FSU's Center for Prevention & Early Intervention here!

Young Parent Project

The Young Parents Project is a home visiting program in Leon and surrounding rural counties that serves court-involved, pregnant/parenting teens and their children. The project’s experience to date has demonstrated that these young mothers lack family, social, and community support and often enter the project without a medical home or pre-natal care. The project uses a team of professionals (Registered Nurse, Social Worker and Infant Mental Health Specialist) whom visit the homes of these young families to address the physical and mental health needs of the young parent and child, as well as enhance the mother/baby relationship, the crux of the program’s model.

The goal of the Young Parents Project is to improve the overall health of the young families and break the intergenerational cycle of teen parenting, trauma, and recidivism in the juvenile justice system. Funding by the College of Medicine is essential to supporting the Nurse’s outreach and services, as well the purchase of basic health and safety supplies (cribs, car seats, bottles, diapers, books, first aid kits and so on) not typically found in the homes of these youth who live in poverty.

FSU Early Head Start

FSU Early Head Start is a federally funded community-based program serving families with at-risk infants and toddlers and expectant women in Gadsden County. The mission of the program is to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, enhance the development of very young children, and promote healthy family functioning. Home Visitors work with families every week on early childhood educational activities, complete developmental assessments, and bring research-based information on health and safety topics. The program also provides health care coordination for enrolled pregnant women and children and helps families overcome barriers to accessing health care for their children.

The program supports the development of parents’ health consumer and advocacy skills to produce long lasting healthy habits for the whole family well beyond the few years of participation in Early Head Start. Hearing, vision, and developmental screenings are provided to children in the program as well as to the public at periodic community outreach events. Funds from the FSU Dance Marathon have purchased our state of the art pediatric vision screener and the supplies and maintenance for our high-tech portable hearing screener. Dance Marathon also makes it possible for our program to provide early childhood screening events in Gadsden County and assist enrolled families with transportation to medical and dental appointments.

Gadsden County School Clinics

The College of Medicine has been working with the Gadsden County school-based clinics since 2006. The partnership includes the Florida Department of Health for Gadsden County and the Gadsden County School Board. The program is funded by the FSU Dance Marathon and supports one full-time nurse practitioner and one part-time nurse practitioner. In addition, FSU College of Medicine faculty, medical students and FSU doctoral psychology students provide care and counseling services at George W. Munroe Elementary School, James A. Shanks Middle School and Stewart Street Elementary School. This outreach program aligns with the mission of the College of Medicine by providing care for underserved populations. The Florida State University students are afforded the opportunity to obtain valuable experience while working with multidisciplinary teams in a rural setting.