It is OK To Sit?: Your Digital THON Etiquette Information
We are one day away from THON 2021 and this year’s celebrations will look very different from previous years.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, THON will take place virtually via a live stream hosted by 46Live, in which dancers tune in from their living rooms. Of course, this new format has left a lot of people with questions.
To help you navigate through the craziest THON weekend we’ve ever seen, we helped you make a list of what to do and what not to do when attending from home.
Take a break – This is a new one this year. Unlike in previous years, dancers are encouraged to take part “Designated rest periods” between midnight and 6 a.m. every evening. The reason for the rest periods is that THON could not offer the dancers “real resources” if they stood for the entire 46 hours.
So don’t be afraid to sit down, take a nap, and relax for a few hours. The dancers have 34 hours to stand still on the THON weekend.
Customize your dance area – If you have THONEN at home, you can optimize your space according to your wishes. Maybe it puts down some nice rugs or makes some cool lights. Do it yourself so that you feel comfortable where you are.
Good advice is to remove anywhere you are tempted to sit (i.e. outside of rest hours!). Move sofas, chairs, and other places that you are sitting outside of the area where you are dancing. You will find it easier mentally if you don’t stare at a comfortable couch all the time.
Find some distractions – The Bryce Jordan Center itself is a natural distraction at THON, whether you’re just talking to friends or jamming to music from your favorite rock and roll cover band at 4 a.m. Dancing in your living rooms, dormitories, etc. with few people around you is brutal to your body and mind. So find some distractions.
Maybe set up your Xbox and play some games, break out a speaker and play some of your own songs, or even read a book. Keeping your mind occupied will make standing for long periods of time easier, especially when you are with a smaller group of people.
Be patient – Nobody really knows how this weekend will go and when they say they do they are lying. So be patient with people this weekend, especially those who put THON together.
Dance and have fun – IT’S THON, PEOPLE! Dance around your living room like an idiot, wear funky clothes and have fun. We may not be in the BJC, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a lot of fun.
Break COVID-19 regulations – It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Even if THON is a feel-good event, that doesn’t mean anyone should break county and state guidelines.
Do not gather in more than 10 groups or go out if you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. Stay at home and support from there.
Also, follow the guidelines established by organizations. If you want to visit a dancer, the first thing you should do is make sure it’s okay and find out if you are allowed to. The last thing we need with THON is that it will help spread COVID-19 more than before in State College.
Tell the dancers the time / ask if they are tired – Similar to if we were at the BJC, you shouldn’t tell the dancers the time or ask how they are feeling. Standing for long periods of time is a mental challenge and speaking to such a dancer makes it so much more difficult.
Some dancers even change the times on their cell phones to something random so they don’t know the time. Whenever you talk to a dancer, remember that they have been standing for a ridiculous amount of time.
Drink or be drunk – This is a big no-no to a traditional THON, and it’s still a big no-no this year. This weekend is supposed to be about the kids and those dancing for a good cause. Drinking and partying ruin the whole weekend spirit. You can stay sober for a weekend, we promise.
Be a Debby Downer – THON is usually a spectacle and brings out some of the best memories you will have at Penn State. Just because THON is virtual doesn’t mean it’s less important than in previous years. Maintain the same energy you would have if you were in the BJC! It will take everyone to make this year as successful as in previous years.
Connor is a junior major in broadcast journalism. He comes from the great state of New Jersey and is proud of it. The lover of the largest city in the world, New York City, doesn’t like Philadelphia at all and won’t hesitate to tell you. He’s also cursed as a Penn State fan since he was born. If you call him a bum or maybe you want to go out with him, follow him on Twitter @ ConnorDonohue00 or email him at [email protected]