Tuesday, February 21, 2012

THON Friday Night

Every February Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center transforms from a standard arena to host basketball games and entertainment events, to a colorful fun land for folks of all ages. THON, the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon takes over the building for 46 hours of dancing to help find a cure for pediatric cancer. Months of effort goes into the event that raises money for the Four Diamonds Fund, which is based at the Hershey Medical Center and helps families going through the battle of pediatric cancer. This year THON celebrated their 40th anniversary.

I covered the event when I was a student, in addition to participating through an organization, and dancing my senior year. I was excited to cover the weekend and here are a few of my favorite images.

Friday afternoon the dancers make their way from the multi-sport complex to the Bryce Jordan Center in the human tunnel of moralers cheering them on for the hours that are to come.

Once settled in the BJC, dancers stretch and lounge on the floor in preparation to be on their feet for the next 46 hours.

Whiplash, along with other dance teams performs during the opening ceremonies.

Dancers celebrate as they stand at 6 pm to start their 46 hours of dancing for a cure.

The morale captains lead the 2012 line dance for the first time on stage. The dance, full of pop culture references was performed 46 times through the weekend to help keep the dancers moving and stretching. Some features in the line dance include a tribute to Paterno, "409, what a run, thank you Joe for all you've done," and a line about each of the four diamonds words, courage, strength, honesty and wisdom.

After the crowd watched the line dance for the first time, it was their turn to learn it.

With all the negativity around Penn State in the last months, many involved with THON used this weekend to show the world what Penn State is really all about. This dancer, used a famous Joe Paterno quote on his dancer shirt,"make an impact." Every Penn Stater lives by this quote the dancer said.

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