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THON Color Wars: Lighthearted Competition Brings Dancers, DRCMs Together

A little healthy competition never hurt, especially when 16,500 THON volunteers pack the BJC to spend 46 hours together on the floor.

THON’s Color Wars competition, which pits teams of Dancer Relations Committee members (DRCMs) and their dancers against each other in a battle for points before and during THON, has become the perfect opportunity over the years for the two groups to interact and play games.

But it can mean much more to those involved in its lighthearted contests. It has evolved into the chance for dancers and volunteers to bond and play while reminding themselves of the purpose of THON.

Accounts differ as to when the first Color War was declared, but according to the Daily Collegian archives, it became a predominant part of THON in 2003.

This year’s Color Wars divided teams up into four colors — Red, Bue, Green and Purple. The competition begins about a week before dancers stand, and concludes during THON Weekend. This year’s winner, the Green team, stole the Color Wars crown from Purple.

The Dancer Relations Committee uses the competition as a way to incentivize committee members to get as involved as possible and motivate them leading up to THON weekend. After dancers are assigned to their corresponding DRCMs, the competition allows the two parties to bond and get to know each other.

Dancers earn points by participating in different activities and playing games like Ninja, Ships, and Sailors. Committee members can earn points by organizing lunch dates within their organization and showing up to different THON-themed sporting events throughout the year, among other point-notching activities.

Dancer Relations Director Tim Seydel spends the weekend ensuring the safety of THON’s dancers, but also organizes and orchestrates team building activities like Color Wars.

Color Wars allows participants to “facilitate different interactions where you automatically have a common bond with someone just by automatically having the same color for Color Wars,” he said.

He added that although he’s not positive who the all-time Color Wars winner is, he’s been successful when chosen as a member of Purple.

Seydel became involved with THON through the influence of his older sister Emily, who suggested that he apply for a Dancer Relations position.

“Whether its playing with a kid and shooting them with a water pistol, giving them a piggy back ride, or even giving a dancer a piggy back ride, just for me the selfless aspect and awareness of its not about me, its about taking care of and supporting other people,” he said.

Just like every other THON weekend activity, Color Wars is still very FTK-focused. Four Diamonds families are welcome to join in any games that dancers play, and can choose what team they want to award points.

“We want the families to have the freedom to represent their organization. So whether their dancers are part of one organization and they’re Purple, they can choose to give all their points to purple,” Seydel said.

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About the Author

Ryen Gailey

Ryen is a senior early childhood education major from "right outside of Philly" - or in exact words, from 23.0 miles outside of Philly. She loves all things Penn State and has been a huge Penn State gal since before she could walk. Send her pictures of puppies, or hate mail at [email protected]

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