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Stage and Crowd at THON 2023
Stage and Crowd at THON 2023
Photo by Sophie Yadzinski

THON Saturday Recap

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

Entering the BJC during THON Weekend is like entering an alternate universe. No matter the time of day, it is full of life. 

Over 24 hours into THON, the BJC was still packed, with letters flying high above people’s heads, chants breaking out in different sections and the floor bustling with activity.

Walking in at 3 a.m. you can not tell it is the middle of the night because at THON, it’s not.

Saturday started with some fun live entertainment. THON had DJs, student performances and dance troops to keep the energy going into the wee hours of the morning.

Even as the crowds in the stands dwindled, you could see the dancers’ and supporters’ passion for this weekend.

Greek Organizations at THON Weekend 2023
Photo by Sophie Yadzinski

THON is something special. It unlocks another level of emotions you didn’t know you had; it’s moving how the determination and hard work all the organizations put into this is so apparent.

Once the sun came up and it was the morning for everyone not partaking in the overnight shift, parents, spectators, and other supporters started to drift in.

The floor filled up with parents, grandparents, and siblings. 

Teary hugs were exchanged, and piggyback rides were given. Parents are transported back to when their kids begged to be carried or wanted just one more hug. 

Most of the day consisted of DJs, a few live performers, and countless line dances.

Final Four at THON 2023
Photo by Sophie Yadzinski

However, Saturday’s big event is the kid’s talent show and Pep Rally; a few hours of performances, guest speakers, and energy to get the dancers pumped up.

The kid’s talent show featured performances of songs, dances, and an epic lightsaber battle.

They showed no fear going up on stage in front of thousands of people and exuded confidence that one can dream of.

Performances of songs like The Climb by Miley Cyrus brought tears to people’s eyes, and Diamonds by Rihanna lit up the BJC as all the spectators and dancers held their flashlights up in support.

The THON Pep Rally is sponsored by Penn State’s Alumni Association. They bring two of Penn State’s most proud traditions together every year by “whiting out” the BJC with 2024 THON Pep Rally shirts. 

The Pep Rally showcases the athletic team’s dance skills with short performances by each team. A winner is chosen by a panel of judges.

This year’s judges were kids Mason, Jax, Macy, Molly and Cheyenne. 

The night’s emcees were Char Morett-Curtiss and Christian Hackenberg.

The event started off strong with a performance from the Blue Band, some cheerleaders and the Blue Sapphire.

“We Are” chants echoed through the BJC as the Blue Band played out everyone’s favorites. Parts of the chants were replaced with “FTK” or “Beat Cancer” to fit the weekend’s purpose. 

The teams shuffled through, all hyping up and entertaining the crowd.

The men’s gymnastics and soccer teams did many tricks and flips on the stage. 

The women’s soccer team and field hockey were coordinated and well-rehearsed, getting the crowd going.

Many athletic teams could not perform tonight, but all sent in a video FTK!

Eventually, the judges narrowed it down to men’s gymnastics and women’s soccer. Two dances got the audience cheering and jumping while being well put together. 

This year’s winner was Men’s Gymnastics, and they are the first ever to have their name engraved on the very first THON Pep Rally trophy. 

The best part of their dance was forming the Four Diamonds logo out of the team members. 

Messages from James Franklin and President Neeli Bendapudi encouraged the dancers and reminded them why they were standing. 

Once the Pep Rally ended, the BJC once again emptied out slightly. The 200 levels were empty, and the stands were getting scarce. 

So, the DJs entered the stage and got people moving while people waited for the next live performer. 

Saturday night’s headliner was Walk On Mars, who sang a few originals but mostly covers to get the audience interacting. 

She was energized and sang all the right songs to keep the mood up.

THON 2023 Total Reveal
Photo by Jacob Santos

Saturday’s events were successful, and the dancer’s morale seemed unwavering. 

The work being done by the dancers, committee members, organizations and more is inspiring, and in hope that one day, we will dance in celebration!

We Are For the Kids!!  

Olivia Pettyjohn is a fourth-year journalism major at Penn State, planning to graduate in 2024.