by Tyler O'Connell

Courtland Corrente (senior, Electrical Engineering) from Johnstown, PA is one of three dancers representing Lion Ambassadors in THON 2021. He is dancing from his house in State College along with Julia Cipparulo (senior, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and Tommy Kiefer (senior, Kinesiology). While preparing to dance Courtland took the advice of previous dancers. They encouraged him to cut out coffee and get lots of sleep leading up to THON weekend. Even more importantly, Courtland tried to get in the right mindset and remember that he’ll always have supporters in difficult moments when he needs them most. When he’s not participating in THON, Courtland enjoys snowboarding, playing video games, and working his way through a very long list of critically acclaimed movies. He also walked an impressive eighty-seven Charity Miles over the course of a month to raise money towards this year’s total.

Courtland started his journey in the THON community as an OPP Committee member his sophomore year. It was there when he was encouraged to join the Lion Ambassadors Student Alumni Corps by his Captain. He described his first THON as eye-opening and magical. “I wasn’t expecting it to be that special,” said Corrente. “Seeing that many people come together, being that dedicated, and raising that much money was just really amazing.” For this reason, Final Four is his favorite part of THON weekend because it brings up lots of emotions, but also puts everyone’s efforts into perspective. Courtland was inspired to dance by Lion Ambassador’s two THON children, Astrid and Noah, as well as the dedication his friends put toward THON’s cause.

His friends, fellow dancers, and Dancer Relations committee members have been his biggest source of motivation throughout the weekend by brainstorming activities and games to help keep his energy up. Courtland expressed that even though this year is different, he feels it is more important than ever to show support for all Four Diamonds children and families. “I think this year is our time to show that we never stop and our efforts never stop – just like cancer never stops. We can continue to spread hope to these families, so they never have to worry again.”