Evolution of dance videos have been popular since the dawn of YouTube, but they’re not usually performed by a teacher.
An art teacher identified as Mr. T decided to give his students a show that they’d never forget at the Reid Park Academy talent show in 2013. Reid Park Academy is an elementary school for grades K-5 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Mr. T performed the evolution of dance from the 1980s up to the present day.
Dressed in a windbreaker, sideways baseball cap, sunglasses, and plenty of gold chains, he put his heart and soul into the biggest dance crazes of the last three decades.
Right from the beginning, Mr. T’s dance made his students start to cheer. He was clearly popular — and why wouldn’t he be, if he was cool enough to do a dance routine like that?
He put 100 percent into the dance.
He started out with a range of popular songs from the 80s, including Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It.”
Some of the students were so excited, they jumped up to join in the dance. Another teacher pulled out her cell phone to record, laughing at his amazing moves.
Once the performance was uploaded to YouTube, Mr. T himself came by to answer some questions.
“Yes, this was inspired by the idea from the original Evolution of Dance by Judson Lappily,” he said, referring to a viral YouTube video.
Dance has gone through fads for hundreds of years, but the “viral” dance craze appeared in the 20th century. However, it had its origins long before the 1980s. One of the earliest dances that “went viral” was the Foxtrot, invented in 1914.
Other dances also surged in popularity over the years, including the Charleston in the 1920s and the “Buzz” in the 1930s. Essentially, people have always taken dance steps and spread them through dance clubs and parties all over the world.
Modern pop and hip-hop also led to the rise of even more dance crazes.
The 2000s and 2010s introduced dances like the Dab, Soulja Boy, Dougie, and the Single Ladies dance (as seen in Beyonce’s 2009 music video). Other popular dances include the Nae Nae, which has been referenced by everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Hillary Clinton, and the Stanky Legg.
Mr. T performs both of these in his routine, which has now been viewed more than eight million times.
That is an impressive claim to fame for a dance routine from an elementary school talent show.
It’s not surprising that Mr. T’s students loved seeing him do these later dances since they were these were what they grew up with.
“I’m not sure what’s more awesome, the fact he’s such a tight dancer or how the kids go crazy over him doing so!” said YouTube commenter Aubrey Adams. “What an inspiration! Love it.”
As for Mr. T, he has since moved on to teach at a different school.
But the students of Reid Park Academy are sure to remember his enthusiasm and his killer moves for many years to come.
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