About 600 students will stand for a cause this weekend in the O'Connell Center.

UF's 15th annual Dance Marathon will kick off on Saturday at 11:48 a.m., followed by 26.2 hours of dancing, donating money to the Children's Miracle Network at Shands at UF, according to Madison Cheatwood, public relations chairwoman of the event.

Children's Miracle Network is a national organization that helps fund pediatric research and provides treatment for diseases and injuries.

About $435,560 was raised last year, she said, adding fundraising efforts began in September.

While some of the funds are used to rent out the O'Connell Center, all remaining money will be given to Children's Miracle Network at Shands Children's Hospital at UF.

To mix it up on the dance floor, participants will dance through different activities and perform a five-minute routine about every hour.

Ten of the hours will be themed, during which dancers will have the opportunity to match by dressing up in costume.

Cheatwood said themes this year include "Alice in Wonderland," high school cliques, and even a birthday celebration in reference to Dance Marathon's 15th anniversary.

Food for the event was donated by about 40 different restaurants around town and will be served to correspond with each hour's theme.

Cheatwood said local bands and groups such as the UF Symphony Orchestra and UF steel drum band will all perform during the event.

But the marathon offers more than just fancy dance moves and rhythmic beats.

She said the most touching part of the night will be when about 24 families share their stories about how the Children's Miracle Network has impacted their lives.

No monetary goal was set this year because any amount of money will help, Cheatwood said.

"Every dollar stays local," she said. "You can walk through Shands and see what (the money) paid for."