10 Questions With Line Dance Leader Ally Zierold
The line dance is arguably one of the most important and visible parts of THON. From the stretching to the lyrics, the dance is one of the biggest takeaways from the weekend. Preparing, teaching, and performing the dance can be one of the hardest jobs of THON. The honor this year goes to Dancer Relations captain Ally Zierold, so we sat down (stood up) with her for 10 questions.
Onward State: What’s your role in creating the line dance?
Ally Zierold: I coordinate it so all 20 of my captains and my director give me input all year from when we were selected. We kind of coordinate the whole thing together and everything thing in the end is a team effort. I kind of just help put it all together as well.
OS: What’s your favorite line of this year’s dance?
AZ: I would say that my favorite line is definitely “Diamonds, up top, up top” because of the motion that happens with it. When you see that everyone has that one down when you’re doing it so seeing the entire BJC put their diamonds up together is really cool.
OS: What’s your favorite reference in the line dance?
AZ: Probably “HUB food, get in my belly!” because everyone just screams out loud “Jamba Juice.”
OS: What was your reaction to being chosen to coordinate this year’s line dance?
AZ: I was genuinely surprised. I wanted to be on Dancer Relations more than anything, but I was a COMM captain last year and applied for the COMM liaison position so it was really surprising to me, but at the same time it was my dream come true especially when I came here on stage. I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
OS: What’s it like being out there in front of 16,000 people?
AZ: The first time was really intimidating. I was really nervous and my heart was beating out my chest, but once I started having more fun with it and seeing everyone else’s reaction to it, you just really describe it just like you can’t describe it to anyone who’s never been to THON what THON is like. That’s what it’s like to be on stage. You can’t really describe what the emotion that is THON.
OS: How do you do the line dance without losing your breath?
AZ: I teach fitness classes here so I think it helps, because I’m on the microphone when I teach them and that is definitely a huge part of doing it. Besides that, my predecessor Maria told me to start running and singing songs as I run. So I would go on the treadmill at the gym and put my headphones in singing as I was running the whole time for like 20 minutes. That really helped me, but it’s really just figuring out when you can inhale and exhale throughout saying the words.
OS: Did people look at you weird at the gym?
AZ: Yeah. I would always try to pick the treadmills that weren’t close to each other and then when people would come next to me I would kind of turn it to a whisper rather than just singing it and singing it, but I’m not one to really care that much.
OS: Do you play off of the other captains during the dance or are you “in the zone” during the whole thing?
AZ: I think because I know whose lines are what, I can play off their reaction to it, how they said it when we all made it.
OS: How do you think you will react to your last line dance?
AZ: My captains think I’m either going to cry before it and then during the last verse probably cry over it, or be really excited throughout it and immediately cry after it. Just because it’s like everything we’ve worked toward coming into that last song.
OS: If you were a dinosaur, which would you be and why?
AZ: I don’t really know many dinosaurs. Pterodactyls can fly right? I know that dinosaur and I know it can fly.