‘Go for it’ | The story behind UT’s viral dancing ‘security guard’
Vol fans who attended the Tennessee-Kentucky game got a big surprise from the dance team Saturday night, thanks in part to Michael Galyean.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Vol fans who attended the Tennessee-Kentucky game got a big surprise from the dance team Saturday night, thanks in part to Michael Galyean.
Galyean is a Vol for Life and the current faculty advisor for the UT dance company, BOSS Dance Company. Prior to the Kentucky game, he got an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“The dance team’s coach reached out to me and said ‘we have an idea. It involves a little improv, acting and dancing.’ And I said ‘say less, I’m in,’” Galyean said.
The plan? Disguise him as a rude security guard who refused to move out of the way of the dance team’s performance, only to jump in halfway through.
“I was invited by the dance team to join them on the stage, the biggest stage, Neyland Stadium, but to make sure the bit was full I had to work the whole third shift as security,” he said.
A video of his performance ended up going viral on TikTok, featuring a hot-headed DJ Sterl the Pearl.
“It was pretty intense; the crowd is very protective of the spirit team,” Galyean said. “He was like ‘get out the way man, what are you doing here?’ and I was like ‘just you wait, just you wait bro.’”
The chance to dance at Neyland meant a lot to Galyean, who said he’s had his eyes on the stadium for more than 20 years.
“I moved to Tennessee in the year 2000 to attend UT,” he said. “I chose this college, just like anyone would, solely based off of cheerleading. I remember rounding that corner of Neyland, seeing that stadium and thinking ‘I’m going to cheer there one day.’”
That dream took a while to fulfill, though.
“I was full of regret for so many years, a missed opportunity, I chickened out, and now here I am,” Galyean said. “It might have taken 22 years, it might have been a different scenario, but to fulfill that dream, it’s huge.”
Galyean also said he had never taken a dance class, prior to joining up at UT.
“I actually never had official dance training, my first dance class was actually here on campus in 2000,” he said. “So it’s just been watching YouTube, watching dance teams and learning from them.”
The reactions from the fans, those who were there at the ones who saw him online, mean a lot to Galyean.
“It was awesome to see those fans, to see the energy of the game, all right there focused in, and then the moment hit,” he said. “To see not just the likes and the shares, but to see the comments of people saying how much joy it brought, how it was electric... completely unreal. Surreal.”
Galyean’s big takeaway? Take any shot you can get.
“The one takeaway is ‘just go for it.’ It’s not that you aren’t talented enough, young enough; you are enough. Answer that call and say ‘yes,’” he said.
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