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THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2021 Dancer Relations Director Nick Vicidomini

Name: Nick Vicidomini

Major: Health Policy and Administration

Past THON Experience:

THON 2018: Dancer Relations Committee Member
THON 2019: Dancer Relations Committee Member
THON 2020: Dancer Relations Captain – Dancer Storage

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

I am the exact height and weight of Lebron James with significantly less athleticism.

What made you want to apply for THON 2021’s Dancer Relations Director?

In 2006, I was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Upon being taken to Penn State Children’s Hospital, my family and I were introduced to Four Diamonds and THON. Since then, my life has been forever changed.

I experienced my first THON in 2007 and from the moment I stepped in the BJC, I could feel the love and hope radiating throughout the arena. That was the first weekend after my diagnosis that I was not treated like a kid with cancer, but instead, I was treated just like a kid. It was on the car ride home from that first THON that I made a promise to myself to contribute as much as humanly to the organization that saved my life

In my time here at Penn State, I have met so many incredible people through this organization that will forever have a positive impact on my life. Last year, being able to work with and learn from my co-captains and director was amazing, and I was blessed with a family of 38 inspiring individuals (shoutout Nicko Mode) that taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.

This year, I decided I wanted to fully give my all to the organization that has given me so much and apply to be the Dancer Relations Director. I can confidently say it has been the best decision of my life.

What are your responsibilities as Dancer Relations Director?

As Dancer Relations Director, I lead a committee of 24 captains who each lead a group of 24 committee members throughout the year to properly prepare for THON Weekend. The job of the Dancer Relations committee is to serve as the primary liaison to student volunteers selected to dance during THON Weekend.

My individual responsibilities revolve around the registration and overall wellness of dancers during THON Weekend. Throughout the year, I work with my captains to maintain all medical contacts, create an effective Line Dance, and create health-centered activities and events, while trying to enhance dancer engagement for the full 46 hours.

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

This year in itself is so inherently different that there is a lot that I am changing to address the social distancing measures of the university. I have added four new captain positions to my committee this year to help this year’s initiatives run more efficiently.

Additionally, I have been spearheading a THON-wide competition called THON Wars, which will hopefully stimulate the volunteer experience and encourage bonding. Lastly, my captains and I have been working on completely reimagining the dancer experience as a whole. We are brainstorming ways to transfer resources into a virtual setting and figure out a way to continue to give dancers a worthwhile experience.

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

I think the coolest part about Dancer Relations is the ability to make a tangible difference in the lives of a dancer. Dancing is such an incredible feat, and being able to help someone through the weekend and watching them sit after a long 46 hours fills you with so much pride.

Being able to help your peers support the families in this way is nothing short of inspirational. In simpler terms, our efforts can be shown through our motto, “We are there for the dancers, so they can be there for the kids.”

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2021?

My overarching goals for Dancer Relations 2021 is to create a welcoming support system of transparency and inclusion. I hope to utilize Dancer Relations committee members to their fullest potential throughout the course of the year with new positions that can push people out of their comfort zones.

Although this year may be different, I want to ensure that captains, committee members, and dancers have a great experience on par with past years. Lastly, I just want to continue the efforts of the past years in order to make Dancer Relations 2021 as effective as possible come THON Weekend.

Why do you THON?

I could give you probably a million reasons, but in short, I THON for my friends that I have lost. Being a child with cancer, I have been blessed to have met so many amazing people throughout this journey.

Unfortunately, that also means that I have lost a few of my friends along the way. My internal mission is to make sure their memories are not lost and keeping the families at the forefront of our efforts. #StandingForBrandon #FightLikeHill #AlwaysHaveHope

What’s your favorite THON memory?

Oh boy, I could probably give you a different memory for each of the 14 THONs I’ve been to. I would say that one of my favorite memories from THON 2020 would have to be the last Line Dance with my co-captains.

The microphone of our Line Dance leader, Juliet, was not working and you couldn’t hear her voice. However, the crowd made up for it, singing the ENTIRE Line Dance from start to finish. It truly showed how unified the THON community is. That last “Let’s get hype, let’s GO!” line in the chorus gives me chills to this day, and it was such an amazing moment to be a part of.

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

I’m completely at a loss for this one, so I turned to the National History Museum’s “What Dinosaur Are You?” quiz. Turns out, I would be a Giganotosaurus, which is described as being large and slow-moving. I didn’t realize I was that predictable, but they have me pegged.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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