THON dancers preserve their virtual memories with images and video
THON 2021 certainly had a different look to it this year, and the first ever virtual version of the event caused a drastic shift in the dancers' experience in comparison to previous years.
THON and Greek organizations were forced to get creative in order to give dancers the space necessary to move safely during the 46-hour event. Dancers were not allowed to congregate at Bryce Jordan Center. Some danced at their residences. Others opted to rent out public venue spaces or Air-BNBs throughout State College.
The BJC itself had a completely different look it to, as well. Videos and photos show what it looked like this year as a virtual event, versus what it has looked like in the past. While the arena did feature reporters from 46 Live covering the event and live performers on stage for a live stream, THON lacked the widespread student attendance and energy that has been a staple of the event in the past.
Alpha Tau Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha rented out space in The Graduate Hotel in downtown State College for their dancers during THON Weekend.
The Bryce Jordan Center was eerily quiet and virtually empty this year.
This is what the Bryce Jordan Center typically looks like during THON — filled with energetic students in an exciting and engaging atmosphere.
Dancers had a more difficult time keeping busy this year without the support of the crowd at the BJC. Dancers said they kept themselves going by playing games, dancing, or watching the virtual concerts THON streamed this year for viewers, including performances by Quinn XCII and Louis The Child.
Dancer Alexis Acca, second from left, of Alpha Omicron Pi, and another dancer from Phi Kappa Psi, prepare to get pied as they dance at virtual THON.
THON dancers Alexis Acca, of Alpha Omicron Pi, and Sandeep Linga and Nicholas Sudell, of Phi Kappa Psi, stack cups as they play a game to help pass the time.
Lincoln Weinstock, an independent dancer, views a performance by Quinn XCII, one of many concert events that were part of the THON stream.
Since the State College borough ordinance of a maximum of 10 people allowed to gather indoors put difficult constraints on the amount of people that were allowed to visit and be with the dancers over the course of the 46 hours, many elected to hold events and parties over zoom to past the time and stay engaged.
Despite all the changes to the format of the event, the satisfaction for the dancers when they finally finished their last hour remained the same. The goal remained the same – dance to find a cure for pediatric cancer – and that was something that COVID or any change to THON couldn’t take away from the event.
The feeling that the dancers accomplished something amazing was still invaluable, and the pride these dancer’s felt upon completing the 46 hours certainly remained unchanged and as powerful as ever.
Members of Kappa Delta celebrate the final moments of THON and finally getting to sit down after 6 hours.
Dancers from Alpha Omicron Pi and Phi Kappa Psi countdown the final seconds of THON 2021 to celebrate their accomplishment.
Dancers from Alpha Tau Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha huddle together as one as they complete the final minute of THON.
Independent dancer Lincoln Weinstock finally gets to sit down after finishing the 46 hour dance marathon.
~ by Andy Kuros
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