10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dance Marathon with Jake Dube

This weekend Balance 180 had the honor of hosting a family fun day for Dance Marathon at UF. The event featured food, laughter, gymnastics and overall just a great time. Now, this event got us thinking, who are the kind and thoughtful college students behind Dance Marathon? We went on a mission to learn more about Dance Marathon and as it turns out, we knew very little and what we thought we knew, in fact, turned out to be myths. So, to establish fact from fiction, we interviewed Family Relations Overall Director, Jake Dube, and wow were we impressed. Let’s put your knowledge to the test. Readers, fact or fiction? 

1. Dance Marathon is just one event a year.

FICTION! Dance Marathon is a community and a movement uniting students all across the nation as they work together to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Families and members are paired together as they attend family fun nights, fundraising activities and work to better the lives of our local children.

2. Only a portion of the money raised goes to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. 

FICTION! 100% of the money Dance Marathon raises goes to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. 48% goes to research, 10% goes to education and 42% goes to patient care. 

3. Dance Marathon is only made up of Greek Organizations.

FICTION again! In fact, most of the organizations do not have any Greek affiliations.

4. Dance Marathon has raised 15.2 million dollars since its creation in 1995, 23 years ago.

FACT! Let’s take a second to fully comprehend that number. 15.2 MILLION dollars, all towards research, education and patient care. What an incredible accomplishment, and from what I hear, Dance Marathon is just getting started. 

5. Dance Marathon at UF is okay at fundraising 

FICTION! Just OKAY? They are better than okay! Dance Marathon at UF is the NUMBER 2 fundraising university in the nation! Can I get a Go Gators?

6. Dance Marathon has an App

Well technically FACT, but more accurately Dance Marathon has two apps! One is DM at UF and the other is called Miracle Network Dance Marathon. Both are incredible, don’t believe me? Download them for yourself!

7. One person creates the famous line dance. 

FICTION! There is an entire morale team that contributes to the creation of a 6-minute dance that everyone learns. Every person at Dance Marathon events dances this hilarious dance together and a sense of unity is felt throughout the crowd.  

8. Dance Marathon at UF has danced over 600 hours in the past 23 years. 

FACT! DM at UF has danced a total of 678 hours since its creation. That’s over 28 full days of dancing. 

9. Dance Marathon is completely student-run. 

FACT, every single member of Dance Marathon is a student. A young person who has decided to be a part of an organization to better the lives of children who are sick. Together, students have raised millions of dollars and they have improved countless lives in the process.  

10. Balance 180 had an incredible time hosting a family fun day for Dance Marathon UF and their Miracle Families. 

FACT! This is truer than true. Thank you, everyone, for hanging out with us. We had a blast and hope you did too!

The University of Florida is one of the Founding Five Universities of Dance Marathon, and they keep dominating with their fundraising. An organization formed by all students has made an everlasting impact on not only the lives of children in our local community or our state, but in conjunction with the hundreds of other university Dance Marathon teams, on the lives of children across the nation. So again, we say “thank you” to our friends at Dance Marathon at UF and across the nation for inspiring us to make a difference “For the Kids.” 


Written by Julie Walter.



Every Gymnast’s Holiday Wishlist

Not sure what to get your gymnast for the holidays? While we have had some success finding gymnastics apparel and merchandise in store (leotards at Target and Walmart and clothes and accessories at Justice), we have looked into some online and DIY options for you that just might be on your gymnast’s wishlist (like they haven’t already told you). While there are a lot of great options out there, here are a few we came up with:

 Finding a gift for your little gymnast can be overwhelming, so hopefully these give you some direction. From home equipment that allows your gymnast to put in extra practice (without using your bed, sofa, wall, etc.), to a fantastically wonderful onesie repping their favorite sport, any of these gifts will have your gymnast somersaulting with joy into the holiday season. Happy shopping!

Written by Natalie Martinez.

What Our Kids Are Thankful For

We’ve all sat around the table at Thanksgiving and discussed what everyone in the family is thankful for. Some years it’s difficult to choose just one because you feel thankful for everything, other times it’s easy to lose sight of our blessings. Well kids don’t have that dilemma, they say what they mean and mean what they say. We interviewed seven different athletes and here’s what they said they are thankful for..

We have so much to be thankful for and as we get older, our perspective changes. Take a minute to consider…what are you thankful for?

We are thankful for all of our gymnasts and are committed to offering gymnastics programs for children with and without special needs. Our goal is to embrace inclusiveness and create a positive and safe place for children, independent of their ability or financial situation, to have fun and be celebrated.

In the spirit of giving thanks, we hope you will consider making a donation to our year-end fundraising campaign. Your donation will allow us to provide our services to more children, train more team members to work with our athletes, and bring in experts as well as additional specialized equipment.

We are thankful for YOU!

Written by Julie Walter. 

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3 Things I Am Grateful For After Experiencing Hurricane Irma

hurricane irma 

Counting blessings after Hurricane Irma, I couldn’t help but think how grateful I am for simple things in life that I took for granted.


The adversity made me very humble and I want to express my gratitude in three very short letters:


Dear Electricity,


Now when you are back on, I want to say I’m sorry! I’m sorry for taking you for granted while you were always loyal and faithful to me and my family.


I’m sorry for keeping my doors open while the A/C was set at 70 and for keeping the fridge open while making a sandwich.


I’m sorry for having the lights on in all the rooms in the house when all of us were just sitting on the couch watching a movie. A movie that we could watch thanks to YOU, dear electricity! Now that you are back and we can watch football, we finally are able to appreciate you in full! And I promise it’s not just about football!


While you were gone, you taught us that candle lights and flash lights are nothing compared to your power. Please never leave us again! I promise to pay my electricity bill on time every month.


Dear Gas,


It’s my turn to say I’m sorry to you for not appreciating your availability at every gas station 24/7.


I’m sorry for driving around Gainesville wasting you when I could stay home or ride my bicycle instead.


I’m sorry for buying you when my tank is still half full thinking ‘yeah, why not’. I’m sorry for being impatient and leaving the gas station when there is one car in front of me in the line. I have definitely learned my lesson. And it was a tough one love.


Dear Public School,


The biggest apologies go your way for not saying ‘thank you’ often enough. Only when you were gone for a week, I realized how much I appreciate that my kids go to school every day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids but you are doing a great job at keeping them busy.


Only now I can see what it’s like to entertain them with crayons, coloring books, puzzles and Lego all day long. Because what exactly am I supposed to do next when kids were done with all of that after day 1? And how many kids’ movies am I able to watch back to back?


I will definitely never under-appreciate what you are doing for us. I will always be on time in the mornings to drop them off and won’t be upset if it takes me forever to find a parking spot. I will be smiling going 3miles/hr through two school zones on 34th and arriving late at work.


I’m sorry if I ever questioned your teaching style. It’s definitely way better than mine.  Kids can’t wait to see you again. And honestly, neither can I.


Your biggest fan forever and ever!


Written by Olga Sinnreich

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