Tim Hortons dancing queen serves smiles to McMaster students

Terri Marshall is well-known on campus — and is gaining fame online as well.

Every student who buys a coffee from Terri Marshall at the McMaster University Tim Hortons gets a little something extra. Everyone is a "sweetie" or a "sunshine." A French vanilla cappuccino is handed over with a rolling 'r' on the 'French.'

And if a customer has a "Roll up the rim" contest-winning cup to redeem, they get an extra special reaction: Marshall's patented "winner" cheer and dance.

One customer filmed her doing the cheer and the video quickly made the rounds online, garnering more than 77,000 views on YouTube the first two days.

As a server at the Tim Hortons on the McMaster University campus, you'd think Marshall might get drained by the endless stream of stressed-out students, but she said she loves to put smiles on their faces.

"I like to do something fun. It's some excitement for the kids because they are so stressed out, so I like to shock them and put a smile on their face,"  she said. "It just makes my day. Their face makes my day and my dance makes theirs."

Students react differently: some laugh, some go beet-red, but all seem to appreciate the break in their day.

"I think it's great," McMaster student Nadia Sam said after handing her winning stub to Marshall. "It makes people feel happy and relaxed."

Terri Marshall does her signature cheer and dance for every Roll Up the Rim winner. (Kaleigh Rogers/CBC)

Another student, John Sporozinski, said Marshall's cheerful antics are well-known on campus.

"There's memes about her, there's videos on YouTube," he said. "She's just a very energetic individual and it's great to see. It's great to have that early morning class and order a coffee and have that kind of person. It wakes you up in the morning."

Many commenters on the YouTube video expressed similar sentiments, saying Marshall's given them a pick-me-up on a bad day without even knowing it. One poster even said she gave him helpful relationship advice when he was having girlfriend trouble.

"It gives me goosebumps when they say that and it makes it all worth my while," Marshall said.

When asked if she ever has a bad day, her response is surprising.

"Believe it or not, today is one of them," she says, before bursting into her trademark giggle. "I haven't slept two nights in a row. I've only had about two hours of sleep both nights for some reason, so today's a tough day. But, I'm getting through it. They get me through it."

Though she has a cup of coffee to wake up in the morning, she said it's the students that really get her pumped and ready to go.

And in case you were wondering: yes, she does the dance and cheer for every single contest winner who comes to her counter.

"This is what I've been brought on Earth for," Marshall said.

"It sounds silly, but that's what it feels like for me. This is my purpose: to put a smile on someone's face."

Do you have a story to share about Terri Marshall or someone else doing interesting things in Hamilton? Send us an e-mail to hamilton@cbc.ca tweet us @cbchamilton or leave a comment below.