This weekend, two of the 708 Penn Staters dancing their hearts out are also members of VALLEY! We’re extremely proud of our editor-in-chief, Tess Petak, and business director, Ryan Salamo, for being THON 2019 dancers.
Ryan and Tess are independent dancers, so their road to THON started with tireless fundraising. Tess says, “It was definitely hard but having so many generous people supporting us made it not too bad.”
After being on committees in the past, Ryan knew this year he wanted to give back in a more personal way.
“Being on a committee is obviously awesome, but dancing feels like more of a personal impact,” he says. “I wanted to give back in a greater way.”
Tess hadn’t considered dancing until last year, when she decided that she wanted to cap off her Penn State experience with being a THON dancer as a senior.
Tess was happy to say that so far, her feet don’t hurt. Tess was surprised by how hard it’s been mentally. Even though Ryan was tired, he’s still staying positive and motivated.
He says, “I think about the pain I have and it’s really not that bad. Not knowing the time is key. It’s easier to enjoy yourself without being like, ‘oh my god, I have this much time left.'”
The line dance keeps Ryan pumped up, especially during the “thank u, next” section. Tess loves the pop culture references, like “The Greatest Showman,” “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” and Mason Ramsay. Dancer mail has also inspired our dancers. Ryan says he’s cried at every letter so far.
We are so proud of Tess and Ryan for dancing FTK. Your VALLEY family is cheering you on!