Keeping THON Dancers Energized and Ready to Perform
Every hour at THON, a group of dancers, referred to as line-dancers, perform that years THON dance, a series of moves that accompany a compilation of popular songs from the past year. Every hour they walk up on stage with bright smiling faces and perform in front of thousands in the BJC. One has to wonder: how can they keep up this energy? How do they stay prepared to perform? The task is anything but simple.
Lauren Lund is a dancer storage captain and dance relations committee captain for THON. Her job is to organize the dancers, and to keep track of all their belongings. “My specific position for dancer storage is to physically set up where all dancers keep their things (on) the weekend,” Lund explains. “We really have to maximize the use of the space as well as informing dancers on how much space they have, what to bring, what not to bring, how to work with their dance relations committee member to make it as clean as possible.”
Aside from storage, Lund is assigned to personally keeping track of 37 dancers. Lund explained that it is all made possible through teamwork. “I feel like with the help of my committee members I’ve gotten to know all of them personally this weekend,” Lund said. “It’s definitely not something you can do alone, and I really feel the support having gone throughout the weekend getting to know my dancers and making sure that they’re all good.”
One of those committee members is Laura McGovern. Her job is to look after the well-being of her assigned dancer, and to help out with the dancers generally. “I am here to help her out throughout the weekend, make sure she’s staying healthy, make sure she’s eating,” McGovern said. She explained that it was her job to make sure her dancer was having fun, and staying awake. “I think the biggest thing is just making sure that you keep them moving,” she said. “I’m always stretching them, keeping them moving. When you stretch, we say it’s new blood. You get a new body.”
In-between dance slots, the dancers are led off of the floor of the BJC to the backstage area. Lauren Lund explained that, “it’s a really nice quiet place. We try to have an environment like that for dancers, but it’s also a place that’s really easy to fall asleep in. So (we) make sure that everyone is getting stretched, and that they are awake.” Laura McGovern explains that these breaks are necessary for maintaining high energy levels. “There are times when you need to come back here and relax, but when you do go back out onto the floor, it is a burst of new energy.”
Aside from taking breaks, the dancers energy comes from those in the dance relations committee. Laura McGovern explained that the goal is keeping the dancers motivated and energized. “I think if you have a lot of energy yourself, it goes onto your dancers”