This Stony Brook University student didn’t expect to find fame in his high school cafeteria, but after a video went viral of him winning a school dance-off, Kevin Carroll suddenly gained internet stardom.
Before enrolling at Stony Brook, Carroll, now a freshman psychology major, was a student at Yorktown High School in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.. It was the last day of classes during his junior year when the dance-off took place.
“I heard over the announcements that there was going to be a workshop for writing college essays,” Carroll said. “I ran over to the cafeteria where there [was] a huge crowd of people and I assumed that they were watching a flash mob but it turned out that it was just my two friends and they were just fooling around and dancing.”
Carroll’s interest in dancing was first sparked by watching the animated movie, “Happy Feet.” He then began taking tap dancing classes and performing in recitals, but decided to drop out after a year and a half.
“Being the only boy when you’re eight in a class full of girls, it’s not exactly that appealing,” Carroll said.
Carroll then took a break from dancing until he saw a YouTube video of the American popping dancer, Marquese Scott. Popping involves quick contractions of the body and incorporates rolling movements, according to Carroll. He started watching all of Scott’s videos and once he saw what he could do, Carroll started taking dance classes again in hip-hop, jazz and modern dancing.
When Carroll walked into his high school cafeteria that day and saw his friends in the middle of the crowd, he moved to the center and was pulled in by one of his friends, Josh Green. They started clapping a beat and the dance battle commenced.
“I knew that he had previous dance experience himself and he knew that I had dance experience as well and I was dancing with him because it was one of those spur [of] the moment kind of things,” Carroll said.
His friends started shaking their hips jokingly and then Carroll did a move that got the crowd’s attention.
“I did a body roll into threading the needle, that’s the part where I jump through my leg,” Carroll said.
All of the dancing was recorded and posted online by Carroll’s friend, Tim Miller. Then World Star, an entertainment media outlet, shared the footage on Twitter.
“When I got home a few hours later, I had five friends that texted me and letting me know that this is going viral and it got bigger and bigger,” Carroll said. “When I saw that I got over a few thousand tweets I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is insane.’”
Today, the dance-off video has received over one million views on multiple YouTube accounts where it has been reposted.
Carroll is now trying to start a new club at Stony Brook called “KINETX” that centers around creating flash mobs. His e-board has already been put together and Carroll is currently in the process of finding interested dancers.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to start a new flash mob,” Carroll said. “I found out that there’s no club on campus that has done that so I figured I’d start one.”
The high school cafeteria crowd gave Carroll his five seconds of fame, and now he’s looking to create crowds of his own.