PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

One Of 708: Kristen Garrone’s Journey To Becoming An Independent Dancer

Standing on the Bryce Jordan Center floor sporting a vibrant Minions cape, American flag bandana, and brand new fluorescent sneakers, senior Kristen Garrone didn’t expect to be dancing in THON 2016, especially as an independent dancer.

The majority of the 708 dancers participating in THON this weekend are representing an organization. However, there are dancers who are on the floor without an affiliation, referred to as independent dancers. Two of those individuals are Garrone and her partner Lauren Scerencsits.

Garrone, a broadcast journalism and economics double major, made the decision to fundraise to dance in THON independently. Students who want to dance independently have to raise at least $2,500 by themselves to be eligible for the lottery. Every additional $600 raised gives the independent-hopefuls extra “chances” of be selected.

Despite the obstacles, Garrone made the decision to get herself on the floor for THON’s big weekend. She felt that the challenges of raising money as an independent was worth it if she had a chance to dance in her final THON as a student. Garrone could’ve danced with her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, but she felt like others in the organization deserved it more.

“I really thought that maybe I would get the nomination, but there were a lot of girls who deserved it more than I did,” Garrone said. “Me and my friend Lauren, who’s my partner, were like, ‘We need to put something together if we really want to do this.’ [Dancing]  is something I’ve wanted to do since freshman year.”

The challenges of dancing independently were even greater this year because of the two cancelled canning weekends. Garrone and Scerencsits had to work harder than they originally calculated just to get the chance to get onto the BJC floor.

“It’s a lot of literal blood, sweat, and tears,” Garrone said. “I can’t even stress how hard it was. We didn’t get to go canning and we didn’t do any canvassing, so a lot of ours was through third party fundraisers and a lot of THONvelopes.”

With the diminished opportunities to fundraise, Garrone had to trust she would receive some large donations. She said that a $1000 she received from one donor was the kick-start her and her partner needed to make their dream a reality.

While Garrone stands on the BJC floor this weekend relieved and satisfied, the months leading up to THON were easily the most stressful she’s ever experienced.

“We really didn’t get a lot of our money until the last month, so it was very stressful,” Garrone admitted. “It really came down to the wire and we actually went to the in-person registration desk $200 short of the next ticket. So we called a bunch of people saying ‘can you donate anything right now?’ We raised like $250 in two minutes, it was incredible.”

For Garrone and her partner, the stress was worth it, she noted while standing on the floor of THON 2016 as an independent dancer.

“It’s been incredible,” Garrone said. “Getting named to be a dancer wasn’t even real when it happened. When I got the email that I’d been chosen I just couldn’t even believe it. Walking through the human tunnel today I was just freaking out. It’s just been such a dream.”

Garrone couldn’t have done this without her friend and THON partner Lauren Scerencsits.

“Lauren is my best friend and none of this would’ve been possible without her,” Garrone said. “All the 3 a.m. conversations freaking out that we can’t raise enough money, the rapid fire texts back and forth wondering ‘can we do this?’ She’s been everything and I couldn’t have done it without her.

The journey for Garrone to get to dance in THON 2016 may have been a challenging one, but she wouldn’t change it for the world. Garrone has a word of advice for anyone looking to dance independently following her experiences.

“Start early, and never think that the amount you have is enough,” Garrone said. “We raised $3800 and made it, but I know someone who raised $6000 and didn’t get picked. It’s a lottery, so you just need to put your best foot forward, start early, and fundraise often.”

About the Author

Jacob Abrams

Jacob Abrams is a sophomore from Oxford, PA, majoring in Management in the Smeal College of Business. Jacob is the President/GM of The LION 90.7 FM along with being a play-by-play commentator and sports talk show host. He is a sports fanatic, and strongly supports the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, and the New Orleans Saints. He is a first-generation Penn Stater, and in his free time he likes to play sports and sing. You can follow him on Twitter @jake_abrams and contact him at [email protected]

Comments

More by Jacob

Penn State Baseball Takes One Of Three Against Maryland In Weekend Series

Penn State needed a rebound performance at home as it played host to Big Ten rival Maryland for a three-game series this weekend, but it didn’t go as planned.

Christian Hackenberg Selected No. 51 Overall By The New York Jets In The 2016 NFL Draft

Penn State Baseball Falls To Kent State 6-2 At Home

Athletics

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend