Lionette Pair To Do What It Does Best For 46 Hours: Dance
They’re best known for their dancing during breaks in the action on Football Saturdays, but two Lionettes are extending that dance to last 46 hours.
Angela Connors and Jessica Spellman are paired up on the THON floor this weekend after being picked as their dance team’s representatives. Connors explained that their selections were by a team vote “a long time ago.” The pair learned they would dance last summer, much earlier than most of the other 706 dancers.
“There’s 24 of us on the team so everyone’s actually involved in THON,” Spellman said. “Everyone’s on a committee or in a captain position. Not everyone’s expected to do THON, but it’s an incredible thing so everyone wants to be involved. To dance is an honor.”
Spellman is the THON chair for the Lionettes, and explained the money-making process of her team. Canning is often not an option, since most canning weekends coincide with football games. Instead, funds are raised through selling calendars, tank tops, and THONvelopes. This year also featured the first-ever Mr. Lionette pageant. Connors and Spellman laughed that the pageant winner, Jeff Schmidt, ended up as a dancer as well and his DRCM is a Lionette — further proving their point that THON brings everyone together in a tight-knit community.
When I first went down to the floor to meet the duo, finding them was a challenge — after a few minutes of searching and asking anyone who’d know, I finally got my first glimpse. The reason they were so hard to find was because they were crouched down playing with their THON child, Ashley.
“I THON for Ashley,” Connors said. “I also THON for my best friend, Arizona, she’s a cancer survivor. I THON for the future kids and for the ones that are fighting. It’s very close to my heart and I love it.”
Spellman mirrored her sentiment: “I THON for Ashley and I THON for all the families and my grandmother. I just do it because it brings people together. There’s something special about THON weekend, that if you’ve never been to THON you can never really explain. It’s a pleasure to be involved.”
They both said that THON so far has been a lot of fun; the most exciting part has yet to happen, though. Later in the weekend, they’ll join the rest of the Lionettes on stage for the pep rally, and they agreed that was what they look forward to the most. “We get to dance with our team on the stage and put on our uniforms,” they said, but they won’t partake in any jump-splits because “that’s kind of like sitting.” The signature splits at the end of the routine are a fan favorite, but they won’t be seen this weekend.
The good news?
“There will be high kicks. Give the people what they want.”