Scot Pankey, a drama and technology teacher at New Tech High School in Dallas, Texas, caused quite a stir a few years ago. He and his schoolchildren put on one of the most epic dance performances we’ve ever seen. If you like music, you should definitely check it out.
Their performance video was uploaded to YouTube in January 2015 and has since been viewed over 14 million times.
It transports us back to a simpler, more normal time when schools were still open and life went on as usual.
Almost the entire school participated in the dance!
Over 200 children took over the hallways and classrooms, playing Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” over and over until they perfected all of the steps.
Pankey first heard the song during his Christmas vacation.
He connected with it right away.
“I heard the song and fell in love with it,” Pankey told 13WMAZ. “I got up and started dancing in my living room.”
Pankey already knew what his next task would be when classes resumed after the break. He figured that since it was a technology high school, he’d have the students create an Uptown Funk video for YouTube instead of just performing a dance for friends and family.
“They’re engineering students.” The theater is a challenge for them. “I told them we were going to practice for the next three weeks,” Pankey said.
It took a lot of effort and proper planning.
After all, most technology students aren’t thinking about dancing. He did, however, motivate them to give it their all by establishing an easily attainable end goal for the video project.
“I told them, ‘Dudes, we’re going to get 1,000 hits,'” Pankey said.
One thousand is also the approximate number of Facebook friends Pankey has. He figured, worst-case scenario, he could get some of them to watch the video.
However, the video far exceeded his highest expectations.
It got over a million views on the first day it was posted online! The story quickly went viral after it was picked up by several news outlets. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden both tweeted about the dance, and Bruno Mars himself tweeted about it.
The response totally swamped Pankey and his students.
“They were taken aback.” We were getting emails from people all over the world… “It was a big realization for them about the impact they could have on the world,” Pankey said.
They couldn’t believe it. However, once you see the video, it’s easy to comprehend why so many people shared it.
Pankey is sitting at his desk in his classroom when the video begins.
The music then starts playing, and he starts dancing to the beat.
He is soon joined in the hallway by some girls.
As Pankey moves around the school, he encounters more and more groups of students, each of whom is performing a unique funky dance move.
It’s amazing to see.
The most impressive aspect, however, is how they captured it.
The entire performance is shot in one long take, following Pankey around the halls. As the dance takes place, the camera pans around the school, following the action. Slowly but steadily, the students all demonstrate and follow along with their various routines.
Finally, for the finale, a massive crowd of students floods the stairwell.
Everyone celebrates by throwing their hands in the air and smiling broadly.
The entire routine appears to be extremely professional. Pankey, on the other hand, explained that it wasn’t because of his extensive dance background. Except for a brief clogging class at Lees-McRae College, he had no formal dance training at the time.
The astounding students who showed up day after day to master the routine deserve the majority of the credit. They did an outstanding job. They obviously have some amazing skills for students of technology!