Independent Dancer Twins Ready To Take THON Weekend
THON won’t be the first time twins Courtney and Cassondra Ondeck are labeled A and B. The two, respectively, were labeled “Baby A” and “Baby B” when they were born. For THON 2016, Courtney and Cassondra received dancer numbers 291A and 291B. Courtney was adamant everyone knows her sister would continue to be “Baby B.” So far, we’ve seen two sets of siblings ready to take the floor in two weeks but Cassondra and Courtney are the first set of twins we’ve spoken to.
The seniors from Horsham, Pennsylvania followed their parents’ Happy Valley roots and came to Penn State. THON was no mystery to them, as in previous years, the Ondeck family watched promo videos and live-streamed THON. Coming here, they knew they wanted to be a part of it since it’s a huge part of Penn State.
The pair was involved with Kinesiology Club THON at first. After seeing how much her freshman roommate loved being on a committee, Courtney decided she wanted to get involved with that side. She served as a Rules and Regulations committee member in THON 2014 and 2015. Cassondra also got involved with THON through committees in THON 2014 and 2015 by serving on Rules and Regulations and OPPerations, respectively.
Being dance partners was a no-brainer. The twins knew they wanted to be independent dance partners because they didn’t want one to dance without the other. After spending their lives together and being roommates since their sophomore year, another 46 hours together is nothing for the duo.
The two decided they weren’t going to check their email until they were together the day the dancer lottery was announced. That plan was foiled when their friends on Dancer Relations texted them saying congratulations. In between two events during her internship, Courtney decided to quickly check her email to confirm the positive texts. “I screenshotted it. All it says was congratulations and I sent it to her,” she said laughing at the interaction. While their friends apologized for ruining the surprise, Cassondra said, “It was a relief, we were so nervous.”
When asked what they’re most looking forward to, Cassondra looked at her sister and said, “I’m excited for Courtney to see more floor time,” since Courtney didn’t get to be on the floor as much as an R&R committee member as Cassondra did as an OPP committee member. “I’m excited to see who actually sends us stuff,” Courtney said. She also echoed her sister’s excitement to see her take the floor.
Overall fundraising was an obstacle the twins were proud to overcome. “We’re pretty proud of ourselves since we are from the same small family,” Courtney said. While most dancer couples have two sets of relatives to send THONvelopes to, this duo only had one. With only two first cousins and three uncles, the number of donating relatives wasn’t in their favor. Luckily, they were able to get a lot of help from their friends through assistance on canning and canvassing trips, 100 Days ‘Til THON shirt crediting, and restaurant fundraisers.
Cassondra’s favorite THON memory so far is being on the floor for the final four hours and being surrounded by all of the families. She also loved watching Go-Go Gadjet. Courtney’s favorite memory was her first time witnessing THON her freshman year and seeing Go-Go Gadjet pump everyone up. The two now have the opportunity to make new memories as they get to experience everything next to each other.
“I’ve stayed at THON for almost the majority of the time in the past,” Cassondra said, “so I’m pretty confident we can do it.”