PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Dancers Explain What They Least Expected About Dancing In THON

Earlier this week, we asked your 2017 THON dancers what the most unexpected part of dancing was for them. Needless to say, there are plenty of surprises when you’re on your feet for 46 hours straight, but most of the responses we got can be boiled down to just a few responses. Here’s what happens when you dance in THON that you least expect.

The Food

This seems simple, but dancers were surprised at how good the food was. After starting the first dancer meal with pulled pork and mac ‘n’ cheese, one dancer lost count of how many peanut butter and nutella sandwiches he ate throughout the weekend. Others couldn’t believe how much food and how many snacks and drinks were available to them throughout the weekend.

The Sense of Time

Dancers were split on this, but one response sums it up best: “I truly didn’t expect THON to fly by as quickly as it did, but at the same time it felt like I had lived there my whole life and the BJC was the only world I had every known.”

The Crying

When you’re physically and emotionally exhausted, tears can start falling at any time for almost any reason. Here’s our shortlist of reasons dancers cried this weekend.

  • Dancer mail
  • Inflatable turtles
  • Picture of a dog
  • Seeing parents
  • Someone gave them a weird look
  • Makeup was messed up from crying
  • No actual reason

The Delirium

When spectators visit the floor later in the weekend, it’s all too easy to spot a dancer who’s acting like they’re drunk simply from sleep deprivation. Most dancers didn’t see this coming — some say they even blacked out during some parts of THON to the point where they’ve seen photos afterwards that they don’t remember taking.

“My depth perception started to go on me,” one dancer said. “I remember trying to hug someone and didn’t realize how close they were until their arms were around my body. My reactions were delayed to the point where someone shot me with a nerf gun but I didn’t flinch until after the dart hit me and had already fallen to the ground.”

The Support

Dancers were surprised how much support they received from their organizations and from other people on the floor. “Everyone was willing to help each other out when needed,” one dancer said. “I saw dancers giving piggy back rides to other dancers, girls helping girls put on socks while standing (WAY harder than you think!), and overall just giving each other strength to make it through the weekend.”


Not many dancers can relate to these, but they certainly happened to a select few.

  • Star Wars Hour: “I remember my friend going up to Darth Vader and using the force on him.”
  • Pep Rally: “When I experience THON in the stands, I always thought the pep rally was one of the most hype parts of THON. As a dancer, it kinda marked a low point for me since the floor gets so packed in and there isn’t a lot of room for dancers to move around.”
  • Ice Baths: “Longest three minutes of my life every time I did it (which was a lot).”
  • OPP Baby: “The moment my nephew, Owen, crawled across the floor during mopping and became the famous baby that captured the hearts of thousands. I knew he was going to be popular (How could he not with that face?) but I never imagined he’d be all over social media and have articles written about him. 14 months and on the campus for one weekend and he’s already way more popular than I’ll ever be.”

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


More by Elissa

‘Paterno’ Nominated For Two Emmy Awards

Tune in for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards September 17 to see how “Paterno” fares against the competition.

Skeller Replacement Best We Could’ve Hoped For

Recent Graduates Highlight Alumni Council Appointees


Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Tony Carr might have to wait a little longer than he had hoped to make his NBA debut.

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Penn State Volleyball Trio Representing U.S. At Pan-American Cup

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

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.

Indigo Closes, Future Plans For Nightclub Space Await

Indigo Nightclub announced that it would be closing following Arts Fest, but it doesn’t sound like the Hotel State College bar space would be empty for long

Playa Bowls To Open State College Location

Famous on the Jersey Shore for its brightly colored bowls and smoothies, Playa Bowls’ menu includes everything from açai and pitaya bowls to fresh juices.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Doggie’s Rathskeller And Garden Opens With Hopes Of Returning To Its Roots

The All-American Rathskeller is no more and Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden is officially in business — opening with its “sneak peak” at the new bar Thursday afternoon in time for Arts Fest.

Send this to a friend