We got a chance to talk to Dan Fratoni, a senior management and PR major, who is dancing in THON. Dan frequently pulls all-nighters, and seemed to have no problems staying awake or keeping his energy up.
How is THON so far?
It’s been a blast. It’s crazy. I can [tell what time it is], because of the roles I’ve held with THON in the past so I can gauge the timeline. But I’m feeling fine. It’s totally about eating and stretching and drinking 24/7. I don’t think I’ve put down a bottle of water the entire time. But it’s fun! I still feel like I have the same amount of energy since when I walked in. Almost there- I feel like [the rest] should be interesting. I can do it.
How did you feel when you found out you were dancing?
I was stoked when I found out I was dancing. It was so cool, only because my THON experience previously to dancing my senior year was being a morale committee member as a freshman, public relations captain as a sophomore, then an entertainment captain as a junior. And it was neat because I got to see different aspects. When I was a freshman, you catered to the dancers. And then when I was a sophomore you got to see that outside perspective of THON and what goes into broadcasting that image of what we do. And then entertainment was neat because that tied back into the fact of, “okay what do we need to have here to make these dancers keep going?” And it’s cool that I get to go out doing that. And that’s what I really like about it, which is neat.
It’s awesome because I had no clue what THON was coming into Penn State, and when I first came into the BJC as a moraler it was so cool. And I never had anyone in my family touched by cancer or anything along those lines. But seeing all of those families, it was just one of those things where it was like, “Wow, I can dance to give back,” because in college you do those things that are ‘selfish to get you somewhere in life’ but this keeps you grounded and reminds you to actually live life and that there’s other things out there. It was a wave of emotions, but it was so cool to be selected to dance.
What does the logo or motto mean to you?
I’ll go with the logo. I like the concept of the hot air balloon, only because to me, personally, I think that signifies onwards and upwards. Obviously it means “redefine the possibilities,” but it’s one of those things where the sky is the limit. We’re all here for that reason of hoping that one day there’s a cure.
What role do you think music plays in THON?
Music is huge. Music’s one of those things that you remember a moment or an instant from the second that you hear a song, and it’s captures those memories. And it’s all about the upbeat music to keep the dancers going, to keep the atmosphere in this place what it is. Without it, a huge dynamic of THON would be missing.
What’s your favorite part of the line dance?
The whole Miley Cyrus section is funny as anything. I love it. Doing the Miley face and came in like a wrecking ball. But hey, that was 2013, right?
You kind of answered this before, but why do you THON?
It’s more so for the fact that it’s a chance to give back in the midst of what you’re trying to advance yourself in life as a college student. For me, it was something that made me there’s a lot more out there to life, and after just getting involved in an extracurricular activity as a morale and not knowing what I was going into, I saw that there’s families of people that really do go through things. Although I haven’t had to go through that in my life, other people shouldn’t have to. It was just for the sense of giving back.