THON 2021, Sunday, Lyndsay

Penn State Global Brigades dancer Lyndsay Stakem’s (junior-biobehavioural health) friends exclaim upon seeing a video clip of Stakem in THON’s recap video at the end of THON at her apartment on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021 in State College, Pa.

THON 2021 has come to an end, and those who stood for the cause have since been resting and recovering.

However, an amalgamation of stories and memories from the weekend will live in the minds of all who participated.

Throughout the weekend, dancers said some moments stuck out more than others.

Sarah Knappman, a dancer with Penn State’s Tapestry Dance Company, said even though THON this year was virtual, she thought it was “inspiring” to see everyone involved come together for the weekend.

“I think THON still lived on [and] prospered even though it was virtual,” Knappman (senior-biomedical and mechanical engineering) said.

Knappman was stuck between two moments to call her “best” from the weekend. One memory was from the Final Four when she and her teammates were on a Zoom call with their Four Diamonds families.

They all played a freeze dance game on the call. Knappman said the children put on a Zoom reaction, and the dancers came up with moves based on those reactions.

Knappman said the second event she remembered from the weekend was their makeshift version of “Slides of Strength,” which is normally a staple for dancers at THON. In a normal year, dancers in the Bryce Jordan Center slide on a tarp covered in baby powder and then receive a quick massage.

Since this was not an option due to the virtual setting, Knappman said her and her fellow dancers used a pool float covered in baby powder and did their own version of the game.

Brooke Schindelheim, a dancer with the Penn State Thespian Society, said her weekend was “incredible.”

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“I [could not have] asked for a better THON weekend; it really all came together and it was just amazing. There [were] no words to describe it,” Schindelheim (senior-labor and employment relations) said.

Schindelheim said her favorite moment from the weekend was when her Four Diamonds family came to visit them. The family did a quick drive-by and she said it helped her “keep going” through the 46 hours.

Schindelheim said she has a “deep connection” with her family, because she was one of the Family Relations chairs that introduced them to THON.

“They really hold a special place in my heart, so just having them there with me just really made my THON weekend that much [more] special,” Schindelheim said.

Kelsey Wolf, a THON dancer with the Penn State Dance Alliance, said her favorite memory from the weekend was during the Final Four hours when she was surrounded by her teammates and co-captains.

“It just really meant a lot to be surrounded by them and just being able to watch the livestream. It didn’t even feel like we weren’t in the BJC,” Wolf (senior-biobehavioral health) said.

Wolf said she wouldn’t change anything about the weekend.

“Even given all the circumstances, it was as incredible as I could have ever imagined.”

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