On March 7th, our chapter participated in HuskyTHON, UConn’s 18-hour dance marathon benefitting Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. It was my first time doing it, and I was a little nervous, but very excited. While staying awake and on my feet for 18 hours was definitely not an easy task, HuskyTHON was an amazing experience! Here are some first impressions about the event from myself and other first-timers:
1. I can’t believe I waited this long.
As a junior, I couldn’t believe that I waited so long to be involved in such an amazing event! HuskyTHON is something that should be on every UConn student’s bucket list.
Campus Correspondent Erin Craw (’15) felt similarly. “My first impression was WHY DID I WAIT UNTIL SENIOR YEAR!? It was incredible to see and meet the families and to join other UConn students in making an actual difference. Also, the energy was absolutely amazing to see,” she said.
2. Huskies are truly FTK.
At HuskyTHON it was amazing to see the incredible level of passion so many UConn students have for the event and the kids at CCMC. From the management team to the dancers, everyone was so enthusiastic and filled with so much energy. It was incredible to see that many students (over 2,000!) giving up their Saturday nights to participate in HuskyTHON.
UConn HC social media director Jackie Hlywa (’15) said that participating in HuskyTHON made her “truly appreciate having that opportunity as a student here at UConn and so humbled to know that [she is] surrounded by so many fellow students who are willing to be so dedicated towards helping other people.”
3. It’s awesome, but a struggle at times.
As chapter member (and UConn HC’s dancer representative) Chelsea Bast (’15) said, when it comes to HuskyTHON “every warning was necessary. After participating in Relay for Life in high school, I thought that staying up all night would be a piece of cake. However, staying up ON YOUR FEET for all that time was a game changer! When I checked my Fitbit after HuskyTHON, I had taken the amount of steps equivalent to over 18 miles! I felt tired and gross at times, but heading back out to the dance floor to listen to some great music always helped lift my spirits.
4. It’s LOUD.
“I’m not sure why I didn’t expect this, but HuskyTHON is a LOUD event. There is a full-out DJ playing songs for most of the night. If you have sensitive ears, consider bringing ear plugs and make sure you spend time away from the speakers.
5. There are a million things to do besides dancing.
Besides dancing, the management team schedules tons of other fun things to do. I rode a mechanical bull and a bunch of other games. Basketball, volleyball and laser tag were going on in the gym all night. They even had a hypnotist show! All of these things helped pass the 18 hours. Chapter member Sam Mackowitz particularly loved the Zumba dancers that held a giant Zumba lesson twice during the night.
6. The kids really love it.
A major messaged I got during the event was how much the kids (and their families) love HuskyTHON. They look forward to it all year. One mother even said her kids got more excited about HuskyTHON than Christmas! The emotion they showed throughout the night was evidence to how appreciative they were of all the students who came out to support them. The kids danced with us, spoke to us and even performed for us.
“The kids really love it as much as they say they do,” said Bast.
Almost every hour, one of the families would speak to us about their child’s journey and about how much they loved HuskyTHON. These emotional speeches were very touching and made us feel like we were really making a difference.
7. By the end, you will be in a serious love/hate relationship with the morale dance
Ah, the morale dance. A nearly 10-minute long dance mix done every hour. Me being the uncoordinated person I am, I didn’t get the choreography down until nearly the end of HuskyTHON. Especially after it hit 4a.m., hearing the beginning of the song made me start to groan. But by the end of HuskyTHON, the morale dance was the best thing ever. It’s a great way to bring all of the dancers together, and it’s a ton of fun!
8. It’s filled with Husky Pride.
As I mentioned earlier, Huskies are truly FTK and it is amazing to see what we could do. Especially when the total amount raised ($560, 104. 55!!!) was announced, I was so proud of everything that UConn Huskies could accomplish!
9. You will have the best sleep of your life after.
This requires no explanation. Get some rest and get ready for next year’s HuskyTHON!
[Photos: from Sarah Levine and UConn Her Campus Facebook page]