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Meet The 12 Michaels Of THON 2023

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…12 drummers drumming Michaels.

The Michaels of THON made history this year.

For the first time since Onward State began reporting the most common dancer names, a traditionally male name – Michael – became the most popular. Of the 707 dancers, the Michaels narrowly beat out the 11 Ryans and Julias.

We set out to ask the 12 Michaels a few burning questions: Do you go by Mike, and who are your favorite/least favorite famous Michaels?

Michael (Mike) Giacoponello

Taking the high road, Mike Giacoponello chose only to share a Michael he likes: Michael Jordan.

He’s excited to meet a few of the 12 Michaels throughout the weekend but is even more excited to be on the floor for Final Four.

Michael (Burkey) Burke

Michael of men’s club lacrosse is a true Michael to strangers, but “Burkey” to friends.

His favorite Michael is Michael Jordan, and his first and middle initials are M.J., so it’s kind of like they’re the same person. Michael Vick, however? He doesn’t like that guy.

Michael (Scribs) Scribner

This dude is known by either “Mike” or “Scribs,” which carried over from his brother and dad.

He loves Michael Jordan and Michael Caine. Scribs believes that Caine played a phenomenal Alfred in “Batman” and is great in “Interstellar.”

He explained that it’s hard to dislike any fellow Michaels, but he still chose former Cowboys football player Michael Irvin solely because he’s an Eagles fan.

Michael (Pick Your Poison) Assouline

This Michael is a man of the people. He’ll go by “Michael,” “Mike,” or “Mikey.”

He’s a big baseball guy who used to play outfield, so his favorite famous Michael is Mike Trout. THON is his favorite weekend of the year, and he’s excited to brag about being the top name of THON.

Michael (Mike) Luttenberger

Michael from special interest org A-7 uses his God-given name, Michael, around family, and his friends call him Mike. Occasionally, people will call him Lutt or Mike Lutt to differentiate him from others.

His favorite famous Michael is Mike Greenberg, a host on ESPN’s “Get Up.” As a telecommunications major interested in sports production, he considers Greenberg a role model. He also loves Michael Jordan because he’s one of the best athletes of all time and demonstrates determination like no other human.

This story did not phase him. There’s always been a lot of Michaels in his classes growing up. It’s a part of life.

Michael (Mike) Hook

Senior American Institute of Chemical Engineers dancer Michael Hook goes by “Michael” to his family and “Mike” to anyone new.

He’s a big fan of Michael Phelps and Michael B. Jordan. His hot take is that his least favorite Michael is Michael Jordan. He’s looking forward to trying to find the other Michaels throughout the weekend.

Michael (Nittany Lion) McDermott

First and foremost, this Michael goes by a very special name: He’s the Penn State Nittany Lion! When he’s not suited up, he’s a true Michael.

He considers all Michaels to be “rockstars” and likes Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps. His least favorite is actor and comedian Michael Rapaport.

Michael (True Blue) Licata

Licata is a true Michael…he doesn’t mess around with nicknames.

Like many others, he likes Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps. He also likes Michael Scofield of “Prison Break.” He’s not a fan of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, though. Fair enough.

He’s looking forward to the performances this weekend. If he gets lucky, maybe a famous Michael like Michael Bublé will show face.

Michael (Mike) McGuinn

We don’t know much about this guy beside the fact that he’s dancing for TEP. His Instagram bio says he’s a Mike, so we’ll go with that.

Michael (Anti-Nickname) Wang

Club volleyball Michael is a true Michael and believes that Mike is reserved for dads who don’t know better. He’ll never be caught dead going by Mikey…

His favorite Michael is himself, but Michael Cera from “Arrested Development” is a close second.

He’s been involved with Four Diamonds since high school, so dancing in THON 2023 in honor of his friend will be a surreal experience.

Michael (Mike) Cerenzia

This Michael goes by Mike to everyone except for his parents and family.

Michael Strahan is his favorite, as he’s a Giants fan. He’s a huge Connor McGregor fan, so his least favorite has to be MMA fighter Michael Chandler.

After learning that he’s one of the 12 Michaels, it became a source of motivation. If he chose not to dance, the Michaels would’ve been tied with the Julias and Ryans, and who would want that?

Michael (Mystery Mike) De Botton

Michael No. 12 couldn’t be reached for comment. Life as a Michael at THON makes you a busy man, I guess. For now, he’ll be known as ~Mystery Mike.~

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a washed-up biology grad and former associate editor. Her legacy will live on through stories like “10 Questions With State College Sensation ‘Hot UPS Bae’”. If you’re a STEM girlie, this is your sign to take the leap of faith and learn to write. It’s pretty fun. Colleen misses the hate mail and can be reached at [email protected] or via LinkedIn.

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