Meet Behrend's THON dancers
Morgan Shaw, junior biology major
THON E-board, Lion Ambassadors, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Lion Scout, community assistant at Hudson Lofts
Tyler Malush, senior plastics engineering major
4 year THON member, current finance chair for club
Matt Hammel, senior psychology major
4 year THON member
Q: How did you become involved with THON in the first place?
A: The day that I came here and they had Club Showcase, THON was the first club I signed up for. It was one of those things that I knew once I came to Penn State that I really wanted to be involved in. I’ve been on the E-board for two years and now I finally get to dance.
Q: What have you had to do since you’ve been chosen?
A: I actually started preparing in hopes of being a dancer. I had to start preparing before the interviews even happened or I submitted my application. You have to cut caffeine out of your life, which I kind of had a hard time doing… You have to continue to exercise. We got a large packet of… ways to prepare to dance… Its physical, mental, and emotional.
Q: What are your thoughts about THON coming up?
A: I’m so excited. In all of my applications I was like, ‘I’m ready to experience all 46 hours and everything they are.’... I’m just really looking forward to it.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: I’m just really happy. It’s all happening. It’s wild. I just can’t believe it’s my third year and it is my last year I can dance.
Q: Are you graduating early?
A: Yeah, a semester early. Just… it’s happening.
Q: How did you become involved with THON?
A: My friends were doing it and I already knew what it was when I came here, so I knew from freshman year club showcase that I wanted to join. I found out that a bunch of my friends were doing it so it’s like I have always wanted to do this and my friends are doing it so why not? It’s a win win. Once I went to my first big THON is when I fell in love with it, I guess you could say. The whole reason behind it and everybody is there for the same purpose. You think college kids could really care less about little kids, we already have enough stress, but the fact they want to help them out as well, that’s what I like the most. That we are all there for a good purpose. It shows that we actually do care about things that are not just social media and we do want to make a difference in the world.
Q: What have you been doing to prepare?
A: The physical thing, I’ve got this down, but it’s the mental aspect that you’re not prepared for. So the mood swings you go through, you want to quit at like hour 30, and then you just see all of your friends come down and it’s like...I can do this, I’m so close. Just knowing that you have the people around you. You can’t really be prepared for the mental part because it hits everyone differently, but you can try your best to have other things in your life in place so you that’s all you can focus on that weekend. I have a lot to do for school before I leave Thursday.
Q: Any other thoughts? You’re so close now.
A: I still can’t believe it’s happening and it’s next weekend. I was thinking about it and it’s like February 15th when we found out that we were dancing [with] probably like a month to go...I get everything in order and it’s next weekend...Holy crap I’m going to dance. I did the 46 [hours] as a spectator last year and it was both the best time and worst time of my life, but I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat just to hear them say at hour 46 ‘you can sit down now.’ That makes it worth it. And then they hold the total up...and we had a part in raising that. That’s what I love the most.
Q: Why did you join THON in the first place?
A: In 2014, my brother and my cousin were both involved with THON at University Park, so [my parents and I] went to THON weekend. We were there for a total of six hours. My favorite memory was when I walked into the BJC for the first time. That memory I will always remember, … just like the energy you feel and everything. From there on, I had already kind of thought… ‘I want to go to Penn State,’ but after that I was like, ‘I want to go to Penn State for other reasons, but I can totally get involved with THON.’
Q: What have you done to prepare?
A: Yoga. Yoga and meditation have been my prime stuff. It took me a couple days to get into yoga, but every since then I’ve loved it. That’s exercising but it’s also keeping my body loose and muscle stressing. And mental, everything mental about it. Everything like that. I also have leg weights I wear when I walk around my apartment… I’m not a gym person, so I’ll run when the weather is okay.
Q: How are you feeling now that [THON] is close?
A: Super excited. My whole family is coming. I come from a huge family. A lot of my family has already been super involved with THON and they all know exactly what it is. My cousin Heather was the line dance coordinator, so she was the one upfront and center saying everything in 2016. So like, she is super involved. This year is kind of super special for my family. My cousin Victoria was battling cancer for the last four years and she passed away this past July. This is the first THON without her. Our family just really pulled together and a lot of people are coming for the first time. Victoria got to come while she was battling, so this weekend is just going to be really special for my family. I’m just super excited to be the one on the floor representing THON.