Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Your Guide To THON Slang

THON Weekend goes by quickly, and it’s easy to get lost if you don’t know the lingo. Whether you’re a dancer, committee member, or spectator, there’s some THON-specific slang you need to know to smoothly run through THON Weekend. We’re here to fill you in on all the THON slang you will hear this weekend.


FTK stands for “For The Kids,” who are the heart and soul of THON. It’s a way of reminding us why we dance, all in the hope of a cure for the children who suffer from pediatric cancer. Throughout THON Weekend, the Bryce Jordan Center is covered in stickers, posters, and temporary tattoos sporting the FTK symbol to remind those why we dance and who we’re doing it for.


Although it seems obvious to Penn Staters, non-Penn Staters don’t know what the BJC is. The BJC is the Bryce Jordan Center where THON is held every year for 46 hours. Dancers stay standing on the floor of the BJC for 46 hours straight to raise money for the Four Diamonds Foundation.


IDCs are independent dancer couples. Unlike some dancers who are part of an organization, IDCs raise money independently and are entered into a lottery system that draws numbers to select dancers since there are so many pairs who apply to dance. If your number is drawn from the lottery system, then you and your partner will participate as dancers in THON.


We-Was are weekend warriors for their THON committees. Although they aren’t captains, We-Was serve as additional leaders for their THON committees during THON weekend and work with their captains to distribute orders and make sure their committees are working efficiently.


SIOs, also known as Special Interest Organizations, are vital to spreading THON’s message and raising money. Unlike other organizations such as club sports, special interest organizations exist only for the sole purpose of raising money for THON and/or have the Penn State Intrafraternity Council or Panhellenic Council Dance Marathon in their organization’s mission statement. More on SIO’s can be found here.

Final Four

One of the most exciting times during THON Weekend takes place during Final Four. Final Four is the last four hours of THON on Sunday and is the most packed time throughout the weekend. Iconic band Go-Go Retro performs, the fundraising total is announced, and we remember the angels who have lost their battles with cancer.

Hopefully, this guide has given you a deeper look into THON Weekend and you can share the slang you’ve learned with friends and family who want to learn more about THON.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Maya Thiruselvam

Maya is a junior majoring in English from Deleware County, PA, and a writer for Onward State. She is a huge Phillies fan and thinks Citizens Bank Park should bring back Dollar Dog Night. When she's not talking to the Willard preacher you can find her rewatching episodes of Ted Lasso or The Office. To reach her, follow her on Instagram or Twitter: @maya_thiruselvam, or email her at [email protected].

Growth & Gratitude: Alex Waterman’s Senior Column

“I knew these were special moments, but I often now ask myself, ‘Did I cherish them enough?’”

[Photo Story] Blue-White Game 2024

Our visual staff captured all the memorable moments on and off the field at this year’s Blue-White Game.

[Photo Story] Onward State Defeats The Daily Collegian In Flag Football

Relive the historic defeat through the lens of our photographers on the sidelines.

Follow on Another Platform