THON Aims to Unify with New Line Dance
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — One of the feature events at THON every year is the line dance. The Dancer Relations director and co-captains have spent months choosing the music, selecting which events to recap, and writing the lyrics.
Family relations director and senior Nick Scipione was involved with the process last year.
“It really is a super fun, collaborative and creative effort each year,” Scipione said. “There are things that make each of them unique.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, THON 2021 will be virtual. The Dancer Relations team has brainstormed new ways to create and present the line dance. The Bryce Jordan Center will remain empty, as dancers will be participating from the comfort of their own homes for 46 hours.
Dancer wellness captain and senior Samantha Mackey has been involved with THON for almost her whole life. This year, she was tasked with the challenge of coordinating the line dance.
“This position was something I always looked at when I was a little kid coming to THON,” Mackey said. “I just love the idea of hyping up the crowd and getting everyone motivated for the weekend.”
Throughout THON weekend, Mackey will be the only captain performing the line dance live at the Bryce Jordan Center. The rest of the Dancer Relations team have pre-recorded videos of themselves dancing in their different costumes, and these videos will be shown on the screen behind her.
“It’s really just amazing that we’re still able to keep the integrity of the line dance,” Mackey stated. “We just [have to] make sure the dancers are still moving and staying healthy, even though we can’t physically be on stage.”
Mackey also shared that the team wanted to ensure that this year’s line dance would be uplifting and positive for everyone involved.
“Especially in [this] year where there’s been so much negativity, we recognize that they are doing amazing things from THON by dancing from home and carrying out as many hours as they can stand,” Mackey said.
Shelby Lincoln is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.