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Bryce Starner Takes On Second 46 Hours As A Dancer

Dancing at THON for 46 hours straight takes a lot of dedication. Dancing in THON twice, however, takes a certain type of physical and mental stamina most people can’t exercise.

For Zeta Beta Tau’s Bryce Starner, however, the choice was easy. He’s on the Bryce Jordan Center floor for his second 46 hours of THON as a dancer this weekend.

Staner has wanted to dance in THON for as long as he can remember, mostly because of the value of the admirable opportunity. He wanted to prove to his family, friends, and himself that he could accomplish the goal.

“I wanted to experience that sort of challenge so I’d have a greater appreciation for cancer patients and their battles, which is nearly impossible to relate to,” he said via email. “When I danced last year, it exceeded any and all expectations I could have possibly conjured up in my mind and was irrefutably the best weekend of my life.”

Starner first became involved in THON during his freshman year through the Smeal College of Business Sapphire Leadership Academic Program, working as a donor relations and logistics chairman.

“It was my first chance to see just how much effort went into making THON so special and I fell in love with it almost immediately, knowing that I wanted to make an even bigger impact over the course of my next three years here at PSU,” Starner said.

Since his sophomore year, Starner has led Zeta Beta Tau’s THON initiatives, raising a record-setting donation amount for the chapter last year. He also published his first book, Always,, A and donated the proceeds to THON and the cancer center in his hometown, selling about $1,000 worth of books.

Despite having dealt with some physical pain, Starner said his first time dancing last year was indescribable and allowed him to realize his own strength. After experiencing what it’s like to be on the floor, and knowing that several close friends were planning to dance this year, Starner knew he wanted to try and conquer dancing for 46 hours again.

Like many students who participate in THON, cancer has had an impact on Starner’s life. He lost his grandfather to prostate cancer in 2015, and will THON in his honor as well as for friends and family members who have been affected by cancer.

Starner now not only has the opportunity to dance at THON, but he also gets to share this experience with his younger brother, Chad, who is a freshman and a member of Zeta Beta Tau. He hopes to set an example for his younger brother as a dancer.

Starner is heading into in his final THON with the same mindset he came in with as a freshman: Enjoy every moment.

“It’s an opportunity that most students only dream about and to stand resolutely beside the pediatric cancer patients and remind them that they’re not alone is by far the best feeling in the entire world,” he said.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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