Hey, dancer! Congratulations on being selected to dance in THON 2018. You should be so proud of all of your accomplishments and your contributions to THON thus far. In only a few short days, you will enter the Bryce Jordan Center with 700 other dancers, some you may know. Many of those other dancers will be strangers, but you are all connected through this amazing cause.
During THON weekend, you’ll have highs and lows, you’ll laugh and cry. You may be exhausted, and start to hallucinate, but it will truly be some of the best moments you have in your life. It’s basically just one big emotional roller coaster. Dancing in THON is one of the most rewarding and inspirational experiences you will have at Penn State. From one dancer to another, VALLEY is here to give you some tips on how to maximize your THON weekend.
Before the weekend
Stay hydrated! It is so important to be drinking water the week before THON. Try to cut out sugary drinks and even caffeine because you won’t be drinking coffee during the weekend.
Stay active. You’re body probably isn’t used to standing for 46 hours, so make sure you are exercising and stretching to prep your body for what’s to come.
Eat right. Choose to eat healthy foods leading up to THON. This will not only help you feel better throughout the weekend, but also it will decrease your chance of getting sick.
Be organized. Make a list of everything you want to pack in order to make sure you don’t forget anything you may need.
During the weekend
Chug water. No matter how tired you get, it’s crucial to stay hydrated.
Eat smart. Eat every meal and bring healthy snacks like granola bars, popcorn or nuts. Stay away from food with too much sugar because they will eventually cause you to crash.
Participate in all the line dances. This will keep you moving and help you stay awake. It’s also a lot of fun!
Save your ice bath. Wait until you absolutely need the ice bath, and even try and wait until the final four. You don’t want to be dependent on the ice baths, but it will help with muscle fatigue and will also wake you up!
Bring some sort of tennis or roller ball to use on your feet when they get sore.
If you start hallucinating, stay calm and keep moving. Walk around the south annex and talk to people. It’s normal to become delirious when you are staying awake for that long.
Change shoes and socks throughout the weekend. If you bought new shoes for THON weekend, make sure you’ve broken them in one week or two weeks before.
Wash your face and brush your teeth throughout the weekend, this will help you feel better.
If someone offers to massage you, say YES! These will become more valuable than you know.
If you receive dancer mail that makes you laugh, hold it in your pocket or fanny pack so if you get down you can take it out and have a laugh.
Leave your phone in your bag. Of course you can take pictures throughout the weekend, but be present!
Soak it all in and participate in as many as the games you can. These 46 hours will be so memorable, so take advantage of everything.
Remember why you THON! Listen and read about the families and children that THON helps. These stories are so inspiring and will keep you motivated.
VALLEY wishes all of the dancers good luck! Take it all in and enjoy, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There really is nothing like THON.