The Big Ten Network is finally giving audiences around the nation a chance to experience what Penn State students will have access to next weekend.
“Why We Dance: The Story of THON” will debut on the network at 10 p.m. tonight and will show, in the form of a documentary, a behind-the-scenes look at Penn State’s Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.
Cole Cullen, producer and director of the documentary, said that the documentary aims to tell the story of THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.
The documentary is an hour long and is a compilation of almost two years worth of THON activities and events, Cullen said.
Cat Powers, THON overall public relations chairwoman, said that she was excited that the network is getting the spirit of THON out to the local community and also the Big Ten Network’s viewership.
“The documentary captures the students of THON and every aspect of THON,” Powers (senior-pubic relations) said.
Cullen, a 1996 Penn State graduate, said that he was never involved in THON while attending the university. Thus he came into the project with the same perspective that he thought the audience would have.
“Sure, these kids dance for 46 hours,” he said. “But it’s enlightening to see what the students [actually] do.”
Going beyond the monetary gain of THON, the Penn State students adopt children into the Penn State family, Cullen said.
Showing the documentary on the Big Ten Network is something that Cullen said he was excited about. It was always a possibility for the crew, but Cullen said that they were always worried about what to cut to allow for commercial breaks on the network.
Luckily, the network saw the film and opted to broadcast the original, in its entirety, showing all of what Cullen and his group intended to show.
The documentary was previously shown earlier in February on WVIA, Scranton and WSKG, Binghamton NY.