Meet The Dancer Who’s Kneeling For 46 Hours
Kaity Gonzalez is the Special Events Chair for the special interest organization Tetra. She’s also the president of Harmony, a performing arts organization that works with kids with special needs. She’s also a facilitator at World In Conversation. Plus, she works as a fingerprint technician with the Penn State police.
If it seems like Kaity Gonzalez is an overachiever, it’s because she is. On top of all that, Gonzalez is also the first THON dancer ever to be in a wheelchair. But don’t let the wheelchair fool you; Gonzalez is by no means taking these 46 hours easy. She’s actually kneeling in her wheelchair for the entirety of the weekend.
Gonzalez is one of the three dancers for Tetra. She’s only been involved with the organization since her junior year. She happened upon the club by chance at the involvement fair. “They really jumped out at me at the involvement fair,” Gonzalez said. “Plus, they offered me free candy.” Free food aside, Gonzalez knew after the first interest meeting that Tetra was the place for her. “It didn’t take long for me to fall in love,” she said.
But Gonzalez’s connection with THON extends past Tetra. Before she was involved with that organization, she was a part of her honors society’s THON efforts. During that time, she met Scot Becker and his family. It was an instant friendship, for more reasons than one. “My aunt passed away from cancer,” Gonzalez said. “So when Scot was diagnosed, I felt connected to him.”
Luckily, Scot is currently in remission. For Gonzalez, going through Scot’s recovery with him was nothing short of magic. “Seeing him come out of it was incredible. His hair started to grow back, and his sarcastic personality returned too,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez plans on seeing Scot this weekend, during which she’ll be kneeling in her wheelchair. She made the decision to kneel for the 46 hours rather than sit because she wanted to “give it her all.”
Gonzalez said she didn’t do much to prepare for THON, other than just by kneeling more often. Before THON, she didn’t really think much of being the first dancer to be in a wheelchair. But that all changed when she realized the impact she could have with her incredible story. “Imagine all of those children who can no longer walk due to complications or surgeries because of their cancer diagnoses. Then imagine what would happen if they could see what I’m doing,” Gonzalez said. “That’s the biggest thing that resonates with me. If I can inspire even one child, then all of this is worth it.”
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The Hoosiers have been underwhelming in all aspects of Big Ten play this season.
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