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Dancing To A Different Beat: The Commonwealth Campus Freshmen Who Danced In THON 2023

Two freshmen first enrolled at Penn State just last August. Now, only a few months later, they danced in THON 2023.

Neither Anthony Garcia nor Domenic Sciortino attends Penn State University Park, where THON is held annually. Garcia attends Penn State Lehigh Valley, and Sciortino attends the York campus. However, they still showed the ambition to dance in THON 2023.

“So initially when I joined THON, I had prior knowledge from my high school for Mini-THON. I decided that I wanted to do the big thing this year, and then I learned that I could dance to support.” Sciortino said during THON. “I really think, you know, this is the largest student-run philanthropy, and I thought it would be great to support that.”

Hope Urbanovsky | Onward State

Sciortino was able to get involved through his campus’ THON club. A number of Penn State’s several Commonwealth Campuses offer this opportunity, or something similar, that allows students to still become involved in THON, even without being enrolled at University Park.

“It’s competitive to be a dancer. It’s hard even at one of the Commonwealth Campuses. So to be a part of it as a freshman is great,” said Garcia. “I want to do it again. It’s kind of an addiction. So, I need to dance at least one more time.”

Garcia already felt the impact of THON after just a few hours of dancing. It’s a constant reminder of why we dance and why THON has become the largest student-run Philanthropy in the world.

“I always wanted to go to Penn State as a kid. So being able to be a part of something that’s such a big part of Penn State is just so surreal,” Garcia added.

Sciortino credited his peers for helping him get through the 46 hours of THON and helping him make the most of the experience. THON dancers can’t get through the 46 hours without the support of friends and families, and it has been no different for Garcia and Sciortino.

“My girlfriend and my family have texted me every once in a while, like, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Is everything OK?’ And it’s been great,” Garcia said.

Garcia went on to recognize the support from those in attendance, too, referring to their energy and dedication.

“I think they need to get a lot more credit than they’ve been given,” Garcia said. “It’s been amazing. You know — having seen them in the stands and looking up and doing dances and then doing it with us in coordination.”

Garcia and Sciortino have already been a part of what makes Penn State one of the strongest communities in the world. In just a few months of being wrapped up in the Penn State community, these two freshmen have proved it doesn’t matter how young you are or which campus you attend — you can dance in THON and join the fight against pediatric cancer.

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About the Author

CJ Gill

CJ is a sophomore from McVeytown, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism and an associate editor at Onward State. He's a huge Phillies fan, which has its pro and cons come October. You can send all disagreements to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CJGill14.

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