While those in the upper deck may look like dots compared to the colorful groups down below, they’re all participating in Penn State THON for the same reason.
No matter where they’re dancing from — the Bryce Jordan Center, their living room or halfway across the world — the motive remains the same no matter what time it is.
Shawn Bessey has been here for almost 12 hours over the first two days and is amazed by his first year of THON.
“It’s for the kids, seeing everyone’s emotions is something special,” Bessey (freshman - information, sciences and technology) said. “A friend of mine Nikolette Nolte, a member of the Penn State swimming team, has been battling cancer, so I’m dancing for her too.”
Bessey also noted how the vibe is fantastic in the upper deck and that the distance doesn’t have an impact on the THON experience.
While Kelly Henry hasn’t been personally affected by childhood cancer, she’s dancing for all those who have had cancer impact their families.
“My roommate is dancing so I’m here to visit and support her too,” Henry said. “The vibe is warm up here and it’s amazing how you can still feel everything that THON stands for.”
While some at THON only experience it from one perspective, Ryan Kramer has been able to experience the THON energy from all parts of the arena this weekend.
Kramer (senior - biological engineering) was surprised at the perspective at the top of the BJC.
“There’s a great view of everything up here. I’m part of R&R and my sister is dancing, so I’m really proud of her too,” Kramer said.
Kramer also took note of how Penn State is able to pull this off year after year and how smoothly it runs too.
“With THON being a completely student-ran organization, raising millions and doing it year after year is pretty special,” Kramer said.
Catherine Gore has been at the BJC for so long, she’s lost track.
“I was with my sorority before, and it gets tight over there sometimes, so being in the upper deck for a bit is a great way for me to relax instead of going back home,” Gore (junior- digital and print journalism) said.
Gore works for a summer camp and expressed how much she adores children and how THON is great cause to help the children and their families.
“No child should have to go through this,” Gore said.