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A Family Tradition Of Dancing At THON

Every year, there are roughly 700 Penn State students who are selected for the opportunity to dance in THON. Since THON’s founding in 1973, there have been thousands of Penn Staters who have proudly stood for all 46 hours FTK.

Three of those dancers are in Drew Bennison’s family.

When Bennison was a freshman, his older brother, Kyle, danced for Ayuda, a special interest organization that Bennison himself is now dancing for as a junior. His cousin and aunt were also chosen to dance as well.

As THON 2020 is hours away, Bennison has turned to his brother for some advice on how to successfully make it through the weekend.

“My brother and I are really close, so I’ve definitely been talking to him,” Bennison said. “Most of his advice has centered around wearing good shoes for the most part. Shoes and socks are his biggest advice. Most of it’s mental, you can’t do too much to prepare, so take the weekend as it goes and have fun.”

To prepare, Bennison has focused on staying healthy. Before he learned that he would be dancing in THON this year, he was already a regular at the gym. Beyond that, he’s been trying to eat healthier, regularly taking his vitamins, and trying to avoid people who are sick.

However, he also recognizes that the mental aspect of THON is just as important, and is trying to keep a positive mental attitude.

“Forty-six hours isn’t really that long,” he said. “And I’m only going to get one chance to dance, so I kind of just want to take everything as it goes and do everything I can while I’m down there [on the floor].”

With his family in State College this weekend to support him, Bennison is looking forward to the unique experience of being able to participate in the only 46-hour dance marathon in the world. When considering his fellow dancers, he just wants them to be able to enjoy every moment as well, even when it gets hard.

“Keep a positive attitude,” he said. “We’re all doing this for our reasons, but the weekend is definitely going to be stressful and tiring at times. There’s a bigger picture at the end of the day, so keep a positive attitude, keep your reason why you personally THON in your mind, and we’ll all get through and have a great weekend.”

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About the Author

Katie Moats

Katie Moats is a senior majoring in English, and her goal this year is to get a big girl job. Seriously, though, if you're looking for someone who can write and edit like nobody's business, she's Katelyn Moats on LinkedIn and will literally interview with you tomorrow. You can follow her @k_moats24 on Twitter for stupid content, but if it's something serious, feel free to shoot her an email (preferably in the form of a poem) to [email protected].

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