We’ve all seen the Facebook statuses.
Last Wednesday, students interested in becoming an independent dancer — meaning they’re not affiliated with an organization — were notified if they were selected for THON 2013.
Many students who received an email of congratulations from Mike Wellner, IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon Rules and Regulations overall chairperson, took to Facebook and Twitter to announce their excitement that all their hard work paid off. Many of these statuses said that this honor was a dream come true.
The Independent Dancer Lottery is a yearly system in which dancers are randomly selected out of a pool of entrants.
Couples must raise at least $2,600 to enter one ticket into the lottery that began on Jan. 30. To increase a couple’s chance, they can raise $500 for each additional ticket.
While it was inspiring to see that many of our friends and classmates will get the opportunity to stand for 46 hours, not all students who hoped to participate as an independent dancer received good news, even though they raised a lot of money for kids with cancer. Seeing their disappointment was disheartening, especially knowing that the seniors will not get the chance again. Some of these seniors have aspired to dance since they were freshmen.
But, dancing or not, all of those people made valuable contributions to help children with pediatric cancer and should not regret their decision to apply. The chance that you will not be selected to dance should also not discourage underclassmen from applying in future years. While dancing in THON is an important part of the THON experience for many, it’s not the most important part.
Each THONvelope sent and hour spent outside on street corners with cans are efforts that should not be forgotten. Even if you aren’t a dancer, there are other ways to participate during THON weekend.
THON weekend requires the cooperation of many, far beyond only those dancing. And while it’s a shame that some people that work very hard to get that chance miss out on it, they’ve still contributed funds, effort and support to the Four Diamonds fund and THON families. If you don’t get to dance, you still know that you fundraised as hard as you could for months to help a child who has cancer.
The competitive aspect of THON can be frustrating and arguably could be unfair, but the reality is that competition results in huge donations and support for people who need it most. It’d be great if anyone who wanted to dance in THON was able to, but demand outweighs the space available.
So while those who were not selected might be a little bit upset, remember that THON weekend is not about you. It is about the 12,500 children in the United States, according to THON.org, diagnosed with cancer each year.