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How To Help Dancers If You Can’t Get On The Floor

Unsurprisingly, spending 46 hours without sitting or sleeping is not an easy task by any means, which is why THON encourages family and friends of dancers to take advantage of floor passes and dancer mail to keep their loved ones energized throughout the weekend.

The only problem with things like dancer mail and family/friend passes, however, is that they have a limited reach. Independent dancers have a limited number of passes that they can hand out, which restricts the number of people they can invite to the floor.

Dancers representing organizations sometimes have a little bit more leeway, for members in their orgs can digitally log in to a queue to get on the floor. But even that isn’t a guaranteed pass to the floor, because the more org members there are in line, the longer it will take to get to the floor (if you even get that opportunity at all).

Dancer mail has its drawbacks, too, mostly because it has a deadline approximately a week and a half before THON. And if you miss the deadline, you’re pretty much out of luck if you wanted to get your mail to your dancer in time for Mail Call.

With the seeming lack of opportunity to support dancers from the stands, we turned to two Dancer Relations captains to see if they had any advice for spectators who can’t get down to the floor. Thankfully, they had some advice for us.

“If you can’t make it personally down from the stands, but you know that someone else can, definitely hand them a letter to give to a dancer on the floor,” Dancer Relations captain Kayla Ramirez said. “Or if you know their Dancer Relations committee member, you can pass it to them.”

Though the official period for sending dancer mail might have passed, that doesn’t mean you can’t still scribble words of inspiration for your dancer. It’s a simple and sweet way to express sentiments without fear of judgement.

The positive impact that inspirational words such as these can have on a dancer’s morale is an unimaginable thing, according to Dancer Relations captain Jared Lawler. He feels it provides dancers and their loved ones the opportunity to express sentiments they normally wouldn’t naturally have the chance to do.

“Some of the letters change not only the dancers’ experience, but their relationships with their family and just make them stronger,” Lawler said.

If finding a way to send an inspirational note proves too difficult for you during THON Weekend, there are still other ways for you to show your support.

Ramirez said even just finding a time to run down to the bottom of the stands and spend a few moments talking to dancers on the event level can mean the world to them.

“I think little things like that are what THON’s all about, a bunch of little moments,” Ramirez said. “And I think people put so much emphasis on inspiration needing to be grand and important, but when it boils down to it, it’s just about expressing your love.”

Of course, Ramirez and Lawler both warn against turning to certain topics of conversation that could be triggering to your dancer — like the weather outside or how tired you are — but so long as you engage genuinely and enthusiastically, you pretty much can’t go wrong.

“There are so few times in our life where we have that opportunity to say exactly how we feel about someone,” Ramirez said. “I think THON’s just one of those special 46 hours where we get that opportunity.”

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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