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From Zoom To The BJC: Repeat Dancer Finally Experiences In-Person THON

Quinten Moslak is no stranger to the THON floor. Except, he kind of is.

Though Moslak is a repeat dancer. His first year dancing was in 2021, which was the infamous virtual year. Then, dancers were offered the opportunity to sit down and sleep overnight, but without the support of thousands of people in the stands and a DRCM, it’s easy to get tired and discouraged quickly.

Like some Nittany Lions, Moslak had family members who previously participated in THON. In his case, it was his older sister, who attended Penn State several years ago. There are even pictures of a 12-year-old Moslak and his sister in the Bryce Jordan Center.

When he graduated from high school, Moslak followed in his big sister’s footsteps in two ways: choosing to attend Penn State and getting involved with THON.

For his freshman and sophomore years, Moslak attended Penn State Schuylkill, where the roughly 600-student population only housed one THON organization to get involved with –– Penn State Schuylkill Benefitting THON.

“I went to the very first meeting, and that’s how I made a lot of my friends,” Moslak said.

Moslak attended THON in 2020 to support Schuylkill’s dancers, and was subsequently chosen to represent the campus in 2021.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event looked vastly different then. Moslak danced from home, being supported from afar by his DRCMs and other organization members over Zoom. Penn State Schuylkill got creative in order to include their paired family over the weekend, playing games like I Spy and Pictionary virtually.

A member of the 2+2 program, Moslak transitioned to University Park for his junior year in 2022. With University Park’s larger student population, Moslak’s options for THON involvement were drastically increased. Ultimately though, he preferred familiarity, opting to stick with something small.

Moslak joined Ayuda, a special interest organization that fundraises for THON. The organization only has about 30 members, ensuring the group’s bond with its paired family is strong.

“We were just walking around the involvement fair –– me and my friend, who had also transferred from Schuylkill,” Moslak said. “We found this org, and they were really similar to Schuylkill, so we decided to join.”

Though it was his junior year, it was Moslak’s first year with Ayuda, so he couldn’t immediately occupy a leadership role. Heading into his senior year however, he ran for vice president and won. As a result, not only was Moslak selected as one of the organization’s dancers, but he helped lead the group through the past several months.

While Moslak has experience dancing, 2023 poses a different challenge. In 2021, Moslak took advantage of the offered overnight sleep shifts –– something that won’t be an option this weekend.

“The atmosphere is a lot different,” Moslak said. “It’s a lot easier here [at the Bryce Jordan Center], being able to actually see everyone.”

Moslak didn’t share any concerns about reaching Sunday afternoon, as his reason for dancing sits at the forefront of his mind.

“At my first THON, I remember that Family Hour is something that really touched me,” Moslak said. “The THON families that I’ve been able to communicate with really motivate me.”

Today, Moslak’s sister keeps her connection to Penn State and THON close. As a middle school teacher, she started a Mini-THON in her school, continuing to reach young audiences with THON’s mission.

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a junior studying immunology and infectious disease. She is from Mifflintown, PA, a tiny town south of State College. She is a coffee addict, loves Taylor Swift, and can't wait to go to a concert again. Any questions can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter or emailed to [email protected]

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