Dancer Update, Hour 25: Laughter and Tears
When we checked in with our dancers John Tecce (Nittany Nation) and Ally Greer (Penn State Marketing Association) earlier this evening, the two were melting pots of much stronger emotions than they’d previously experienced.
Late Saturday saw dancers opening some of their pre-delivered dancer mail. Tecce was most excited to get mail from Coach Bill O’Brien. Getting support from O’Brien and Pat Chambers was one of his “more feasible” wishes coming into THON, and he was thrilled that his moraler was able to make that happen.
Ally began to tear up after reading mail from her sister, Carly. Although Carly, who attends Syracuse University, was unable to make the trip to State College for THON, she was able to support her sister via the dancer mail system.
The letter simply said, “Keep on dancing,” with an illustration.
Tecce said he was finally starting to feel a little bit exhausted, and his feet and knees were beginning to hurt, “but that’s to be expected.” On the bright side, he said said his muscles felt fine. Mentally, he said he felt he was at “the grind” now, having come so far that he really had to push himself through. He also thoroughly enjoyed the Family Variety show.
“But at the same time, the dancers are a little inactive, so it’s hard to keep your mind off how your body feels,” he said. “Which is also a little selfish [of me].”
While fellow Onward State writers Tyler Hoy and Dennis McNamara had been cheering Ally up with piggy-back rides and pictures of dogs with food on their heads, she later broke into tears on the floor. It was clear that the exhaustion was beginning to get to her.
“So many people are doing so many nice things,” she said. “Every time someone does the tiniest nice things I bawl my eyes out.”
But thanks to support from Tecce, her moraler Sam, and her friends, those tears quickly dried up and a smile returned to Ally’s face. “I love you guys,” she said.
Those hugs, piggyback rides and pictures of a dog with various food products on its head are helping keep her mind off how she feels. Thanks to a powerful support system, these two dancers are staying strong while emotions run high.