Mail call is one of the THON highlights for dancers. They get to receive some love in the form of wacky gifts and childhood toys along with the always-appreciated snack, delivered at a time when the heavy eyelids are definitely kicking in- around 5am. So what’s in those packages?
Leah Hodder, an independent dancer, got mail from family and family friends.
“I have no idea what I was expecting,” she says. “Mostly stuff to keep me occupied.”
Forty-six hours is a long time to do one thing, let alone stand, so the dancers appreciate any items to keep their minds on a task or toy and off of how much longer they have to stand. Joel Smith, a dancer for Alpha Zeta, got a ton of water guns to keep him occupied (and challenge some little ones to a water war) and enough candy to keep him in a sugar rush.
But some of the packages are more practical than fun. Lindsay Moore, another independent dancer, received soft socks so her she could keep her toes feeling fresh.
“Socks are great, I guess,” Moore says. “They do what they’re supposed to do. I also got a lot of glow stuff, so that’s cool too. Something different.”
Other packages were very surprising. Kayla Nakonechi, above, an independent dancer, was expecting packages from family, but got a surprise package from a friend studying abroad in Spain. Inside was another THON favorite: glitter.
“Glitter is my favorite.. so it’s going to be everywhere,” Nakonechi says.
We’ve seen snacks, glitter, and toys. Add one more fun gift to the list: hair extensions for both guys and girls alike.Chris Helwig, a dancer for Delta Theta Sigma, had hair extensions in his packages along with the usual package stuffers. The reason?
“I just donated some of my hair so my friends put hair extensions in my package,” Helwig says, laughing.
Helwig donated some of the hair from the sides and back of his head. Now, not only does he have the satisfaction of helping cancer patients have wigs, he has an awesome new haircut. Way to fight cancer with style!
The next mail call, this time letters, will be in just a few hours. Whether you’re in the stands or abroad, sending dancer mail is an awesome way to keep your friends pumped FTK.
Photos by Jonathan Hsieh