by Magill Williams

Written by: Megan Pauley and Kelsea Harshbarger 

Maggie Fechtman was one out of 708 dancers during THON™ Weekend 2024. She is currently a senior majoring in Community, Environment, and Development and is the president of Penn State’s Orchesis Dance Company. This year, Maggie was part of an Independent Dancer Couple (IDC) with Maddie Shine, the vice president of the dance company. Aside from dancing, Maggie loves to run and cook in her free time. 

Maggie mentioned how she holds a close personal connection with THON’s mission, as “One of the children that [she] babysat growing up…was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), and coincidentally, he rang the bell the same day that [she] got chosen for IDC.” She believes “It was fate.”  

Leading up to her selection to dance, Maggie and Maddie held fundraisers starting July 1, 2023; including dance classes, a Yeti cooler raffle, a pasta dinner, a clothing drive, and a lake vacation raffle. 

In the weeks before THON, Maggie took many steps to help prepare for the 46-hour dance marathon. Maggie shared that “[she] cut out caffeine when [she] came back this semester before [she] even knew that [they] were dancing.” She explained that she tried to go to the gym more as well. 

Maggie later shared how there were so many things to love about THON Weekend. She said that her favorite part of THON was “Having [her] family come down on the floor,” especially since it was their first time at THON. “It’s exciting seeing them understand what THON is because it’s really hard to see the power of THON if you’re not there,” Maggie said. Another memorable part of THON was her performance with her dance company that Maggie and Maddie choreographed together. 

It was evident how enthusiastic Maggie was to be dancing in THON 2024. She expressed how welcoming and comforting the THON community truly is, further helping her to appreciate the opportunity to dance in the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC). 

Featured Image: Olivia Damato | THON™ Photography