PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



THON Spectator Busts a Move

Those present in the Bryce Jordan Center in the dark, early hours of Saturday morning (between approximately 4 and 7 a.m.) may have looked on in wonder at the young man featured on the big screens pulling some seriously rad dance moves. Heck, if you saw him you might have even been one of the many people trying to mimic him.

We at Onward State had the opportunity to talk to Mike “Wiley” Barnes Saturday night. Wiley is an initiate of Alpha Kappa Psi and was at the BJC to support the fraternity’s dancers. And he has decided to support them, as well as the rest of the 708 dancers, by doing a little dancing of his own.

“Since the people dancing for THON have to be here for 46 hours, I’m going to be here as much as I can and I’ll dance 10 times as hard,” Wiley said of his inspiration for giving his all in the stands. He added that he was, in fact, the very first person in line before the doors opened for THON 2011.

Wiley, a freshman, has been dancing since he was four years old. He is trained in tap, jazz, modern, hip hop and ballet styles. In other words, he’s got the skillz that killz.

When his wicked moves first gained attention in the BJC, however, he admitted he was more than a little shy.

“I was embarrassed at first because I was dancing to ‘All the Single Ladies’ by Beyoncé,” he said.

His dancing caught the eye of a camera operator when fraternity members left to get concessions, leaving a large gap in which Wiley could break it down.

When the operator first aimed the camera at him, Wiley dove to the ground to avoid the spotlight.

“I yelled at him to get back up!” Rishi Mittal, Wiley’s friend, exclaimed.

And get back up is exactly what Wiley did. And the crowd loved him.

People throughout the crowd saw his art unfolding on the big screens and soon began trying to copy it. It’s true what they say — imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Wiley also broke down some of his favorite moves to use this weekend for Onward State:

  • two fist pumps on each side
  • follow that with a thrusting out of the hips and a spin
  • then do a body roll all the way down and get back up

He also received a number of compliments from nearby admirers. And soon after, he was being grinded on by a green man and a blue & white man.

“A lady in front of me started shouting ‘Do the THON sign! Do the THON sign!’ So I did it,” he recalls. “And soon everyone else started doing it.”

Mittal was equally excited about his friend’s new-found following.

“Yeah, even two moralers started doing it right up front,” he said.

Is Mike Wiley a future THON dancer? Only time will tell.


About the Author

Matthew D'Ippolito

I'm a senior majoring in print journalism with minors in political science and music technology. I'm from the small town of Pennsburg, about an hour north of Philly. I hope to one day work as a music reporter for Rolling Stone. I am single and looking to mingle.


More by Matthew

Switch the Right Decision

I’m probably the only person who has spent my entire college career almost evenly divided between working for The Daily Collegian and Onward State. I feel like this has given me a unique perspective on Penn State’s media scene. And I’ve learned a great deal from both media outlets.

The #MusicMonday Spring 2012 Playlist

No Senior Week Creates Logistical Nightmare


North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend