What Not To Say To THON Dancers

Standing for 46 hours is challenging enough — the last thing you want to do is make THON any more difficult for dancers.

It can get tricky, though. Despite your best intentions you might slip up and say the wrong thing. Before you get on the floor or send that text, here are a few things you should absolutely not say to a THON dancer:

1) Anything about the time

This is a big no-no. Many of the dancers choose not to know what time it is, and if you ruin that for them, it could be a huge blow to their morale. Plus, there’s nothing worse than thinking it’s five hours later than it actually is. Try not to even hint at it — for example, even talking about tonight’s hockey game will indicate that a certain time has passed.

2) Anything about canning

THON clearly means a lot to these people. If you bring up this controversial issue on a weekend meant for celebration –especially at a point when morale might be low– it could do a lot of damage. You want to make these people feel better about their efforts, not worse. Ultimately, it’s best to leave emotionally charged conversations off the table.

3) “Are you tired?”

Just don’t.

4) “I’m so tired!”

C’mon. These people have been standing for hours at this point, do you really think they care you only got eight hours of sleep before coming back to the BJC? Don’t put yourself–or them–through the torture of talking about the lack of sleep you’ve had.

5) “What would you rather be doing?”

There are probably many other things (namely — sleep) that would be more enjoyable than standing on your feet for so long. But the thing is, these dancers are dancing because they care about this cause so passionately. Not to mention, this question could inevitably lead to a conversation about how tired they are, which we’ve already established as a no-go area.

6) Weather

The dancers don’t know or care what the weather is like outside, so don’t bring it up. This one is especially important this year considering how nice the weather is supposed to be.

7) “What’s the hardest part of this process?”

Don’t. Hurt. Their. Morale.

It’s difficult dancing and they definitely don’t want to talk with you about it when they have many more hours to power through. Try to focus on positive things only.

8) “You look terrible!”

Why would you even say this in general?

9) “You’re Delusional/Hallucinating!”

Things are bound to get a little weird after being awake for more than 24 hours,. Hallucinations do happen and the best thing to do in this situation is to simply play along. As counterintuitive as it may sound, THON actually advocates for this course of action. The biggest thing here is to not alarm the dancers if you don’t have to.

THON is supposed to be an uplifting experience for everyone. Don’t rain on a dancer’s parade by bringing up unnecessary topics of concern. If you follow this guide, you should be well-prepared to tackle the dance floor this weekend.

Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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