THON Director Thursday: Meet Dancer Relations Director Cara May Perrotti

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Name: Cara May Perrotti

Major: Industrial Engineering

Past THON Experience:

Freshman Year – Dancer Relations Committee Member
Sophomore Year – Dancer Relations Committee Member
Junior Year – Dancer Relations Captain (Mail Call)

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself:

I had six wisdom teeth.

What made you want to apply for the Dancer Relations Director position for THON 2018?

Every year that I have been able to be a part of this incredible organization I have seen it’s immense impact and every year I wanted to be able to give more of myself to it. After spending THON 2017 watching as our yearlong effort came together to give the kids and families a weekend they will never forget and raise 10 million dollars to relieve them of their financial burden and help better research I knew that I needed to give everything I have to this organization. I wanted to take what I had learned from the Dancer Relations Committee and the dancers I worked with to make the Committee even better. I thought that through this position I would be able to use my skills to help build an even better THON Weekend for the families. THON has given me so much over the years and I just want to do everything in my power to give back to the organization that changed my life. I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity and I hope that through my position I can be a part of creating a remarkable weekend For The Kids and that one day we will dance in celebration.

What are your responsibilities as the Dancer Relations Director?

As the Dancer Relations Director I work to lead the rest of the Dancer Relations Committee. This including educating the community, Dancer Relations Committee Members, and dancers on all critical information necessary to feel prepared for THON Weekend. Dancer Relations plans and executes many pre-THON and THON Weekend experiences for the dancers as well as many educational events for Dancer Relations Committee Members to prepare them to be paired with a dancer THON Weekend. These events all occur with the dancers’ safety and well-being as our number one priority, so they can stand for 46 hours for the children and families battling childhood cancer.

What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

One of the new plans I have been working on with some of the other members of the Executive Committee is creating an environment where we can all better help each other execute our roles. This will utilize better education and communication between Directors, Captains, and Committee Members. We hope to then use this knowledge to be able to better help each other in our responsibilities leading up to and throughout THON Weekend.

What makes the Dancer Relations Committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

I think that one of the most exciting aspects of the Dancer Relations Committee is that you have the opportunity to be paired with a dancer and work to ensure their safety and well-being. Through helping the dancers, myself, Captains, and Committee Members can see the impact they are making on the THON Community. We like to say, “We are here for the dancers so that they can be there For The Kids.” It is amazing to be able to help a dancer, and seeing how much it means to the kids and families.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your Committee for THON 2018?

One of my biggest goals with the Dancer Relations Committee for THON 2018 is to help my Captains accomplish their goals with their positions. I want to encourage them to peruse new and exciting ideas that can grow and better THON. I hope to instill this excitement for change in the Dancer Relations Captains and for them to bring this excitement into their individual Committees as well. I have also been working with a few others on the Executive Committee to change some of the ways we have been educating Committee Members. We hope to create an environment of respect and understanding through education focused on a holistic view of THON. On top of this, I hope to better Dancer Relation’s education structure to make our preparation more effective leading up to and for THON Weekend.

Why do you THON?

Like too many others, cancer has touched my life in many different ways. THON is such a positive light during a time where there can be so much darkness. The families I have met through this organization have never ceased to amaze and inspire me. I think that seeing what THON can mean to these families is truly why I THON. If we can help brighten this journey for the kids and their families in even the smallest way, we should do anything that we can to make it happen. Seeing kids and families be able to have fun THON Weekend and not have to worry about anything else is incredible. I THON to be able to play a small part in the miracles that THON creates. Above all else, I THON for the kids, always.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

I think that every time I am asked this question my answer changes. THON has brought me so many of my favorite memories that it is hard to limit it to just one. I think that right now my favorite THON memory was last year bringing my Committee onto the floor for the first time THON Weekend. It was inspiring to see how excited they were to use all of the knowledge and skills they worked so hard all year to accumulate. It was amazing to watch as some of my Committee Members experienced THON Weekend for the first time. I was so proud of all of their hard work and passion for THON. Now that there are 20 new Dancer Relations Captains, I am so excited for them to share this moment with their Committee Members someday.

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

The fun name my Committee Members last year came up with for our Committee was actually Carassic Park! We made a lot of name puns with different dinosaurs (including a cara-dactyl lol) but I think my real answer would be an Apatosaurus or Brontosaurus. I like that they’re herbivores and always seem to represent the friendliest dinosaurs in movies.

Photo By: THON
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Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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