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Nikki Trofa and Casey Gallagher: A Look At Independent Dancers

For Nikki Trofa and Casey Gallagher, the road to dance in THON seemed insurmountable. As independent dancers, they needed both funders and luck on their side to make it to the floor of THON.

As a dancer couple, they were able to raise $14,385.00 and were chosen to dance through the independent dancer lottery against all odds. Although the money they were able to raise might not be as impressive as some other independent dancer couple totals, but it was hard work getting that much nonetheless.

“I think it was a lot more challenging than we expected it to be because you have to run your own canning trips and fundraise all of the money,” Trofa said. “You don’t really have the same support system as a giant org.”

That support system to get to the big dance came to a head when the two received money from a corporate sponsor – Steamfitters Local 420. Both of their dads are members and were able to visit throughout the weekend.

“Our families were both able to make it on the floor because of the corporate passes. They’re what saved us this weekend because without them, we wouldn’t have been able to have as much support throughout,” said Trofa

As for getting through THON Weekend, the support isn’t just coming from their families, it’s coming from their extended Penn State family too.

“We have about 15 friends dancing too which helps, along with countless friends that are committee members, said Gallagher. “They’ve actually been surprising us in our lockers throughout the weekend like little surprises.”

Those surprises keep coming, but Trofa and Gallagher are both here for the same reason: the kids.

“We dance for the kids that are too sick to be here — even seeing the courage and strength of the families that were able to make it has made it a rewarding experience, added Gallagher while visibly tearing up. “It takes so much for them to be here and get through it. That’s what’s getting us through.”

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About the Author

Ted Hozza

Ted is a senior majoring in Community, the Environment, and Development, or as his friends here at Onward State like to call it, Architecture. You can probably find him at the Phyrst late at night with other Onward Staters if he's not somewhere else editing articles. You can follow him on Twitter @TedHozza or email him at [email protected]

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