Penn State THON and Dancer Ice Baths

Story posted February 17, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Alison Patton

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.— Penn State’s THON is a 46 hour dance marathon that raises millions of dollars for children battling cancer. Dancers are required to stand for the entirety of the fundraising event, which is hosted in the Bryce Jordan Center. Although the kids are worth standing for almost two days, it takes a toll on the dancers.

The dancer relations director Rielly Smith has witnessed first hand the wear and tear. She leads 24 captains, and they manage the 707 dancers. Smith said the dancers are probably stretching and using their dancer guides to prepare for this weekend.

“We give every dancer a survival guide that has a bunch of tips and tricks for THON weekend, including a packing list,” Smith said. “As well as a wellness packet with different stretches and tips for dealing with stress and anxiety.”

Smith has never had to take a dancer to Emergency Medical Services, but she has walked dancers over to athletic training. Smith said the dancers can get their feet wrapped and have an ice bath, “which was a huge hit last year.”

The dancers' relationship director is spending the whole weekend in the BJC and plans to recover from the weekend with the satisfaction of a job well done.

“Recovery is just the celebration of us being done and knowing that all of our hard work has led to something that’s really special for the families, for the kids, but also for the volunteers… not just dancers,” Smith said.

Smith is looking forward to continuing her support for THON even after she graduates in May 2023.

Alison Patton is a second-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email