by David Kronthal

When it comes to enthusiasm for THON 2021, nobody is more excited to dance FTK than Drew Rothka. Raised outside of Scranton, PA, Drew decided to go to Penn State because of the school’s reputation as well as the excellent times he had when visiting the university prior to his college decision. Since Drew was a freshman, he had involved himself in THON by serving on a communications committee his freshman year and then dancer relations committees his sophomore and junior years. Now a senior, Drew is finally able to experience what it is like to be able to dance during the THON 2021 weekend.

While most THON dancer pairs are sponsored by an organization, Drew and his dancer partner Caitlin Williams decided to dance independently this year. In order to do so, the pair had to raise $2,800 for THON as well as an extra $700 for each additional entry into a drawing that decides the independent dancer pairs for THON. Even though they are admitted as an independent dancer pair, Drew and Caitlin are treated like any other dancer pair. THON pairs independent dancers with THON families, and the family that Drew and Caitlin were “adopted” by was the Evans family, the THON family for the Penn State Cheerleading Club. Since being paired with them, the Evans family has sent the dancer pair plenty of texts and pictures to get them motivated for THON, something that has been an excellent motivator for Drew. When the Evans family were showcased during the kid’s talent show, Drew was ecstatic and all the more motivated to keep dancing.

Outside of dancing in THON, Drew enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and fishing. Additionally, Drew has also picked up running as one of his favorite activities to do while everyone was home during the 2020 spring semester. The quarantine during the 2020 spring semester had inspired him to dance, serving as a way to get out of his own comfort zone. When his friend Caitlin had asked him if he would want to dance in THON 2021 with her, the decision was obvious. Drew has enjoyed dancing throughout THON 2021, and he is ecstatic to finish the weekend strong.