Do you ever get hit so hard with reality that you get whiplash? If so, you know how I feel about THON being only 19 DAYS AWAY! This weekend put that very much into perspective for my dancers and me. We had a fun (and work-filled) weekend at University Park starting with the Road to THON Celebration on Thursday night and ending with the Commonwealth Dancer Retreat on Sunday.
The Commonwealth Dancer Retreat began Saturday afternoon and ended Sunday morning. All the Commonwealth Campus THON Organizations are brought together by our awesome Commonwealth Liaisons to get our dancers and chairs ready and pumped for THON weekend!
The best part of the night was definitely watching the Dancers meet their Dancer Relation Committee Members (formally known as Moralers.) Every THON Weekend Dancer is paired with a DRCM who will focus all of their attention on their one Dancer. So for the 700 dancers, yes there are 700 DRCM’s and they are paired strategically, it’s like EHarmony for THON! The Dancers were told they would not be able to meet their DRCM’s due to late arrangements but the Chairs knew different! Mary and Diana (Abington’s Dancers) were with all of the other dancers in a room split by a partition (cue Beyonce’s song) and the Chairs were on the opposite side.
As the Dancers practiced a professional rendition of Barbie Girl, taught by the hilarious and energetic Dancer Relations Captain for Commonwealths. All of the DRCM’s filled the Chairs side of the room quietly. The room dividers flew open and the DRCM’s cheered as the Dancers turned around in complete shock! They all ran around to find and meet each other with huge signs that said things like “I love Abington!” and “Mary and Diana!” The relationship between DRCM’s and Dancers is something special and only experienced between them! But I will tell you, I almost cried when I watched them meet because it felt like a huge beginning leading up to THON, I’m sure most Chairs can say the same. (And if not then yes, I am totally weird and overemotional.)
While the Dancers and DRCM’s played games, the THON Chairs (myself included) were brought together to go over last minute THON Weekend details.
This includes (but most definitely is not limited to):
- Financial Deadlines and Details
- Dancer Wellness
- Floor Pass Lists
- Entrance Plan
- Event Details
- PASS System
- Bryce Jordan Center Rules
- Interacting with Four Diamonds Families
- Exit Plans
I can honestly say to be THON Chair is not for the weak! The amount that a THON Chair does to exceed the expectations for their organization and others is tremendous. That being said, I look at some of the other chairs and am astounded by the amount of heart these students put into THON. The best part is, even under all the stress we sit back and talk and laugh about anything and everything, they are some of the greatest people I know! Like the Dancers and DRCM’s, every THON Chair has an experience that is special to them. For those outside of THON, it looks like really hard work because their views are outside of our passion; but in reality, we are having the times of our lives!
*THON Weekend takes place at Penn State University – University Park campus at the Bryce Jordan Center on February 20th-22nd 2015. To make a tax-deductible donation to Penn State Abington’s organization, please visit giveto.psu.edu/THON-Abington.