This year, two of Valley’s own are down on the floor, dancing the full 46 hours for the kids. Carolyn Cushwa, a Valley print writer, is dancing for the Public Relations Student Society of America. Katie McFadden, the Entertainment Section Editor, is independently dancing. Valley caught up with Carolyn and Katie 16 hours into the dance marathon to get an inside look of how the experience has unfolded.
Carolyn prefaced by saying that she really had no idea what time it was, but she could tell the weekend was progressing quickly. “It’s definitely flying by,” she says.
Carolyn says she was feeling fatigued, but that disappeared as soon as the THON children arrived. “Overnight my feet hurt and now I don’t even feel it because they’re all here now and it’s so nice,” says Carolyn.
Katie expresses that the experience has surpassed all expectations. “I always knew it was going to be amazing but it’s been above and beyond that,” says Katie. “It’s just incredible and I’ve been lucky to be able to experience this.”
Carolyn says she came in with little notion of how the experience would be. “I didn’t even know what to expect…I’m having the best time and I also just feel so lucky to be able to do it,” says Carolyn.
For Carolyn, the biggest surprise if the weekend so far is how enthusiastic everyone around her has remained. “I thought people would be kind of down on the floor at points, but so far it hasn’t been like that at all. Everyone’s been in a great mood.”
In contrast, Katie was shocked at her own feelings. “I was surprised how I felt walking through the human tunnel, I knew I’d be excited and nervous going in but my nerves were completely wiped away when I was walking through the tunnel,” says Katie.
The girls were in agreeance over what is keeping them going this weekend.
“I do it for the kids and for their families…you can’t even imagine what they’ve gone through or what they are going through,” says Katie.
First on Carolyn’s list of motivations is her THON child. “Emily is incredibly inspiring and I really just feel like I do this for her, and for all the kids like her because they’re amazing.” Carolyn was thrilled that her THON child visited her on Friday and would be coming again today. “She’s cancer free now and I just feel like every kid should be able to say that, so that’s why I’m doing this.”
Katie describes her experience as an independent dancer as having a unique group of her own. “It’s different because you don’t have a huge group behind you supporting you but it’s also cool because a lot of my friends are on committees and I have people visiting me,” says Katie.
The girls agree, it’s an experience like no other.
“I’m really just trying to take it all in because it is so unbelievable,” says Katie.
Congratulations to Katie and Carolyn, Valley is cheering you through the rest of the weekend!