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The Most Common THON 2018 Dancer Names

THON is only a little more than two weeks away, and the organization released the full dancer list Tuesday morning with the names of all 707 individuals who will stand for 46 hours this year.

The list isn’t in alphabetical order, so you may not realize it during a quick glance through, but the sheer number of dancers with the same few names is uncanny. There are so many names with more than five dancers apiece that we couldn’t even fit them all on one chart:

A total of 35 names rack up five or more dancers, including Alexis, Courtney, Erin, James, Kaitlyn, Kevin, Lindsay (or Lindsey), Marissa, Patrick, Ryan, Andrew, Christine, Hannah, Jacob, Jessica, John, Katherine, Kristen (or Kristin), Thomas, Tyler, Alyssa, Emma, Julia, Kyle, Rachel (or Rachael), Taylor, Zachary (or Zach/Zack), Alexander, Samantha, Megan (or Meaghan/Meghan), Matthew, Lauren, Nicholas, Sarah (or Sara), and Emily.

Even more names can count at least four THON dancers in their ranks, so it’s worth narrowing down to which names will really be the most common at the Bryce Jordan Center in a couple of weeks. The five most common dancer names are Emily (16), Sarah/Sara (13), Nicholas (13), Lauren (13), and Matthew (11).
Despite all of these name repeats, there are more than 100 dancers with no close matches to their names on the floor, though admittedly we have no way to analyze the names of other folks, like Dancer Relations committee members and visitors, who might be on the floor at any given time throughout THON weekend.

Save for those dancing for DMAIG, the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group, these 700-odd folks were mostly all born in the 1990s. Unsurprisingly, all five of the most common THON dancer names rank in some of the top baby names of the decade. I should clarify I’m not vouching for the validity of my reference list here, but it’s interesting to compare nonetheless.

Emily was the No. 3 baby girl’s name of the ’90s, so it’s a wonder there aren’t more Jessicas and Ashleys cutting out coffee and caffeine this week in preparation for the Big Dance. Sarah clocks in at No. 5 for girls before a larger gap jump to Lauren at No. 13. Matthew and Christopher rank No. 3 and No. 6 for baby boy names, respectively, in the decade that gave us Tamagotchi, Beanie Babies, and most of today’s college students.

So what’s the takeaway from all this?

If you’re dancing and one of these is your name, expect to be confused at least a few times by someone shouting your name at someone who’s not you during THON weekend.

If you’re on the floor and you need to guess at a dancer’s name, your best guess statistically is Emily. If that method strikes out, try Sarah, Nicholas, Lauren, or Matthew. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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