Past Dancers Look Back on Their THON Experiences

Story posted February 20, 2021 in News, CommRadio by Matt Noah

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State’s IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, THON, faces unique challenges to have a successful event. It is the culmination of a year of fundraising and raising awareness around childhood cancer that results in THON dancers standing for 46 hours straight to support the cause.

In 2021, THON will begin on Friday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. and last until Sunday, Feb. 21, at 4 p.m.
However, this year’s event will be held virtually due to the pandemic. Despite the challenges, THON will continue on.

There will be a live stream available for all those who wish they could be supporting in the Bryce Jordan Center where the event is typically held.

In past years dancers were able to receive support from a full capacity stadium of people. A 2020 THON dancer, Jack McCune, described his experiences at the event.

“I remember when we started standing, and it didn’t register with me at first, that I was going to be standing for the next 46 hours,” said McCune, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. “Being a dancer was something that I will never experience again because it was such a unique thing and I’m so glad I got to do it.”

McCune danced for the THON organization Lev, associated with the Penn State Hillel. He believes this year’s THON will still be successful in raising money and is looking forward to the creative events held to engage the watchers on the live stream
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McCune does believe THON has a greater purpose and can really make a difference for families around the world.

“A lot of times throughout the 46 hours, in the back of my mind I was like I’m getting tired and my legs are starting to hurt,” said McCune. “But I kept reminding myself that eventually this whole is going to be over but kids who are suffering from cancer cannot say the same thing.”

THON 2021 will feature new events while working around capacity limits and socially distancing. Many Penn State students are looking forward to raising money this weekend.

Matt Noah is a sophomore majoring in journalism. To contact him, email matthewnoah29@gmail.com.