Valley wanted to find out early in the weekend why our fellow Penn Staters were eager to grab a spot on the dance floor this year. What does THON mean to them? What do they dream for? How does it feel being 1 of only 708 students selected to dance?
Kaitlyn Guzn, a senior in mathematics says she has wanted to dance since freshman year. Guzn says dancing really makes you think about what these kids have to go through and she hopes that THON will promote awareness and, eventually, a cure. Guzn claims the weekend to be “a lot of fun so far, but it’s only just the beginning.” Adding to the fun, the dancer also got to touch Joe Jonas as he performed.
Another dancer, Jessica O’Neil Lyublinskey, a fifth year senior dancing for SOBS, claims, “Cancer cannot and will not win.” She dances for her org’s two THON families. So far, she has enjoyed bonding with other of SOBS’ dancers, such as junior Charlie Shuman, who says THON is “so much bigger than us.”
Lyublinskey says her and her fellow dancers all have journals that they are writing in and doing fun activities with, such as guessing the time. For Lyublinskey, THON has inspired her to apply for cancer hospitals.
Senior Steven Mezzacappa, an independent dancer, says he dances because one of his biggest dreams is to be a dad one day, and he hopes he will never have to fear that his child could be diagnosed with cancer. He describes THON as a “big dance party” and it is and “honor” and “exciting” to be able to dance. Mezzacappa finally loves that THON connects such a large group of individuals to one cause.
Finally, Valley had the chance to talk to Jenny Eberhardt, another senior independent dancer. For Eberhardt, she dances for a very personal reason —when she was little fought through leukemia. She experienced THON her junior year of high school and fell in love with it. She claims she is excited for her DRCM to sneak her grape juice later on and to play with her sorority’s three year old THON child who is “so cute!”
No matter why the dancers are on the floor, Mezzacappa was true in saying that THON connects us all and empowers others to do good.