For Dance Marathon, each dancer is entitled to a foot massage. Lining the hallway between Frontera Grill and the C-Store on the ground floor of Norris, members of Dancer Relations sit armed with tubs of lotion and hand sanitizer, wearing blue surgical gloves awaiting the sweaty feet of hundreds of students. NBN sat down with one masseuse, Communication sophomore Jacqueline Lunsford, to discuss life as a Dance Marathon foot rubber.
What’s the worst thing that could happen when massaging feet?
I could get foot fungus on my face. That’s the worst that could happen.
Could that actually happen?
If it gets on your hands then it gets on your face, then yeah it could happen.
How many feet have you massaged so far?
This is my second turn, so this will be 12 sets of feet. So, really, 24 feet.
Have you gotten down a rapport?
I like to think I’m a master foot massager among my brethren here.
Do you come in with any experience?
I wish I did. I’ve gotten a foot massage before, that was fun. Having gotten a foot massage before in my life gives me the expertise necessary for the optimal foot experience for my clients.
Have you gotten good feedback?
You know, it's good when they groan. When it sounds like they should be alone you know you’re doing well.
Has this changed how you think about career prospects?
Sometimes I think I would be a professional DM foot massager. Specifically for DM, because most masseurs don't use gloves.
Doesn't the gloves make you kind of second rate then?
I’m first rate for my category. I am better than all of the the other foot massagers.
So its like a masseuse caste system?
Yes, and I am at the top. All the other foot massagers will be reincarnated as toadstools. No – foot fungi.
There are a lot of different groups that do DM: fraternities, sororities, residential halls. Whose is your ideal foot?
My ideal foot is somewhere in between a sorority girl and marching band, because the sorority girls have more manicured toes, but the marching band feet have been through a lot, so they have a good rustic, hardy quality to them.
At what point during the foot massaging are you questioning your life decisions?
Oh, 100 percent of the time. One hundred.
Do you ever feel that massagers are an underappreciated part of DM?
People just go on, they hurt their feet again as if I didn’t just fix them. It’s really underappreciated, I have to say.
This interview has been condensed for length and clarity.