The Perks of Being a THON Dancer

Every year, over 700 students make the commitment to dance for 46 hours straight at THON, Penn State’s student-run philanthropy for pediatric cancer. No sitting, No sleeping. For nearly two days, dancers occupy the Bryce Jordan Center and watch as their yearlong efforts of fundraising materialize.

These devotees come from organizations, clubs, fraternities, and others raise money individually in the hope to dance independently. One ecstatic Penn Stater, Claire Sullivan (junior- supply chain management), is dancing independently in this years THON.

“I wanted to dance in THON because I’ve been on Dancer Relations for the past two years and I’ve seen so many people put their heart and soul into dancing for 46 hours and I’ve always admired them,” says Sullivan.

Being a THON dancer is one of the most admirable tasks a Penn State student accomplishes. However, this is no easy job. Imagine pulling an all-nighter, without being able to sit, and then repeating it all over again.

The honor of dancing in THON and the dedication that dancers make does not go unnoticed. There are many #perks of being a dancer. Not only do the dancers have an opportunity to raise money for pediatric cancer, but they get to spend the weekend with the families who they are helping.

“My favorite perk about being a dancer is able to see all the hard work and dedication my friends who are captains and committee unfold,” says Sullivan, “Also, I love that as dancers we have the ability to interact with so many families and children.”

Here are a few more benefits to being a THON dancer that just might convince you that these dancers have the good life during THON weekend:

Dancers get to request a song to be played at THON

Each dancer gets to request a song to be played during their 46 hours on the floor, so just when they think they’ve reached their breaking point their favorite song plays so they can ~break it down~ instead.

Every dancer gets a wish

Dancers get a wish that their Dancer Relations committee member tries to make come true. Wishes in the past have included getting a picture with the Nittany Lion, meeting James Franklin, going on stage, and of course curing childhood cancer.

Swag bag

Dancers get a Nike backpack and a customized t-shirt for THON weekend. Who doesn’t love a goody bag every now and then?

Dancer mail

Throughout THON weekend, dancers receive letters and presents from family and friends. These letters help motivate the dancers and remind them the difference that they are making and how proud their loved ones are of them.

Discount on sneakers

The weeks leading up to THON, Anthym Running store downtown has a 25% discount on sneakers. Dancers can gear up and break in their shoes for the upcoming THON weekend.

We love our dancers and the devotion that they have for THON. It’s truly amazing how a student body can come together to form the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. The time that students dedicate throughout the year and during THON weekend is extraordinary. Every year when the total is announced, our efforts throughout the Penn State community become real.

“One day we will dance in celebration, until then we will dance for a cure.”


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