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Penn State Beaver Wins THON Showcase With Interpretive Dance Routine

THON held its second annual showcase Thursday night, crowning Penn State Beaver the champion in a field of 16 different organizations.

Student Hailey Burbage’s incredible interpretive dance performance was the first ever appearance by a Commonwealth Campus at the showcase. The impressive routine earned Burbage the grand prize of a $2,500 donation credited to her organization and an opportunity to perform on the Four Diamonds stage during THON weekend.

Phi Chi Theta’s solo performance of “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver finished in second place, while Whiplash Dance Company’s “Taki Taki” dance routine took third.

The showcase is meant to celebrate the talents of THON volunteers and replaced the now-antiquated Mr. and Mrs. THON pageant. Judges for the event included Student Body President Cody Heaton, Homecoming 2019 Director Isabella Webster, Blue Sapphire Gillian Brooks, Four Diamonds teen Anees Ayaz, and two representatives from the showcase sponsor, First National Bank.

Tapestry Dance Company, started the show off strong with a tap dance routine to Marshmello’s “Alone.” Following Tapestry was Dancer Relations Captain Preston Hoopes, who performed an impressive piano piece while blindfolded.

A piano and guitar duo from Apollo performed the song “Dreamer” by Axwell and Ingrosso, followed by an electric performance by Irish dance group Rince Na Leon, whose rendition of “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” got the audience on its feet clapping for the first time of the night.

After the high energy Irish dance performance, a duo from Sigma Delta Tau and Kappa Sigma captivated the Eisenhower Auditorium audience with an acoustic cover of “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Next up was Volé, the Penn State Ballet Company, which took the stage wearing football jerseys and performed “Gameday FTK,” a mashup of songs usually heard in Beaver Stadium on Saturdays in the fall.

Kyleigh Graham’s COMM Committee began its time in the spotlight with a video skit about making an original inspirational THON song. After the video ended, the lights came on stage and the COMM Committee performed the original song, the aptly named “Powerful.”

Penn State Law followed with a solo performance of “Starving” by Hailee Steinfeld & Grey. The Hospitality Captain Committee’s performance was a singer/guitarist duo performing an original song, “Ready To Fly” by the singer, Eva Blankenhorn. The ballad-like song was also well-received by the audience.

Whiplash Dance Company performed “Taki Taki,” featuring a compilation of reggaeton songs that made crowd involvement reach an all-time high for the night. Phi Chi Theta then performed an incredible solo of “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver.

Following Phi Chi Theta came FOTO and a great rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which included a cool piano solo and a quick cover of Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams” at the end of the performance.

A high-energy dance by R.A.M. Squad took a high school setting, complete with kids breakdancing with backpacks on and a disapproving principal character who ended up dropping it low with the rest of the dance crew.

Before giving a beautiful rendition of “If I Die Young,” a member of Emily Johnson’s R&R Committee summed up the evening, saying it was “Truly our biggest honor to be here combining our two biggest passions [THON and music].”

The last act of the evening was a strong one, as the Singing Lions took the stage with an a cappella cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

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About the Author

Matthew Ogden

Matthew Ogden is a senior double majoring in Marketing and Journalism. He resides in South Jersey and is the cohost of Onward State's podcast, Podward State, and the blog's preeminent expert on Kanye West. Email him your favorite Spotify playlists to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MattOgden98.

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