How DRCMs Are Adjusting to Virtual THON

Story posted February 17, 2021 in CommRadio, News, THON 2021 by Jake Starr

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In a normal year, a dancer relations committee member (DRCM, for short) is tasked with taking care of its dancer during THON at the Bryce Jordan Center.

But this year, the role of a DRCM will be much different. With THON being virtual, there is an added twist to what a DRCM will do to keep its dancers entertained and motivated during the modified dance marathon.

This year, they will work with their dancers during the weekend in a safe manner. Prior to THON, dancer relations will get to know their dancers and their preferences. So, when THON weekend comes, the DRCMs are ready to go.

Payton Breidineger is a senior at Penn State and a public relations major. This is her second year working on the dancer relations committee. Breidineger is working to think outside the box on ways to entertain her dancer during THON weekend. She is also reaching out to families and friends and has something special planned.

“I think it’ll be really neat to compile a video of the dancer’s close friends and families for them to watch and cheer them on,” Breidineger said. “I’ll try to plan it throughout the weekend so it comes at an opportune time when they’re maybe feeling a little bit down or they’re lacking motivation.”

While many may view virtual THON in a negative light, there are still plenty cool opportunities to be excited about this year’s format presents.

Kelly Bench is a sophomore and a public relations major. She is also on the dancer relations committee and recognizes that it is one of the most vital roles in THON.

Bench noted one plus of THON this year is the opportunity to get to know her dancer even better.

“I’m really excited to get to know them on a one-on-one basis and have more personal time with them to really figure out what they want to do,” Bench said. “So, if they like cooking, we have that option available, as we can cook in a kitchen. If they like going for walks, we have that option this year.”

Cooking and going for walks are just a couple of many opportunities DRCMs will have to engage their dancers with this year. Ultimately, it will be their job to keep their dancer motivated to make it to Sunday afternoon.

While this year will be a challenge for DRCMs, it will be an incredibly rewarding experience and one that will certainly entail a lot of hard work.


Jake Starr is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

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dancer , drcm , thon , virtual