For those of you that remember, I interviewed dancer Tara Antonucci at THON two weekends ago. Read my original interview with Tara here. Since then, I did a follow up interview with Tara about reflecting on her THON experience.
How was THON?
Tara: THON was amazing. I’ve never been to a more inspirational event with more welcoming and fun people. And being able to actually complete the full 46 hours on my feet is one of my greatest achievements at Penn State.
What was it like being a dancer?
Tara: Being a dancer was definitely tough but 100% worth it. You really realize how many people actually care about you when you see all of them supporting you from the floor.
If given the chance, would you dance again?
Tara: I don’t know if I would dance for a second time, but if I could go back in time and decide whether to dance for the first time again, I would definitely make the same decision.
What were your favorite songs that you heard at THON?
Tara: I really enjoyed anything with a good beat that got my energy level up. I especially liked Go Go Gadjet at the end because anything that was slow-paced or quiet would have put me to sleep for sure.
What songs do you wish were played at THON?
Tara: I dont remember hearing any Red Hot Chili Peppers so that would have been a nice change from the standard radio music.
What band was your favorite performer at THON?
Tara: I don’t remember the name of any of them (except Go Go Gadjet)! I mostly enjoyed all of them though.
What was your favorite part of the weekend?
Tara: That has to be the hardest question to answer because I loved every second of it. One of the best however was finally being able to see my mom on the floor. The pass list system got really messed up so I was waiting to see her for about 5 hours. When you have no idea what time of day it is and all you can do is wait, it seemed like those 5 hours were the most terrible 5 hours of my life. Finally being able to see her completely changed my mind set and put me in the best mood to finish out til the end.
How long did you sleep for after THON?
Tara: After THON I slept for a solid 20 hours. It was the best sleep of my life.
What does THON mean to you?
Tara: THON means everything to me. It means hope. It means empowerment. It means freedom. THON means what the Four Diamonds stand for: strength, honesty, wisdom, courage. For little kids to be going through something so terrible like cancer, having something like THON to look forward to every year has to be the greatest thing of their lives. For me, seeing those kids have a weekend to forget about their illness and just have fun makes everything worth it. THON is a way for college kids, like me, to make a difference in a way that older adults cant: by being kids themselves. We aren’t true adults yet, in the real world with real jobs, so why not take a weekend to play with kids and show them what a true childhood should be like; like the ones we had. For as long as I live I’ll never forget what THON is and how it felt to be a part of something much more important and worthwhile than my own silly life problems.