Heroes

Heroes can be lots of things. Sometimes they are close to you, sometimes you never meet them, and sometimes you can’t meet them because they exist in your mind. To me, Skye Humphries is all of the above at the same time.

My first swing dance teacher mentioned this crazy guy in DC who was doing amazing things in Lindy Hop. His name was Skye Humphries. This was the first time I had heard his name, not knowing that it would essentially change the course of my entire life. So being a dedicated student (or maybe an aspiring internet stalker) I typed his name into the YouTube search box. This was 2007 and I saw this:

I remember watching this clip for hours on repeat, trying to figure out exactly what was so mesmerizing about it. This started my two year YouTube binge. I couldn’t go out social dancing because I was still in high school, so instead, whenever I had free time I’d prowl YouTube for more videos. For two years my life was YouTube.

He makes the simplest movements look incredible. He is not hiding behind flash and trash. The level of perfection that must be reached in order to make a rock step look as inspiring as an aerial is mind blowing. But everyone already knows that Skye is an incredible dancer.

What really inspired me about Skye, is that he’s not embarrassed to be himself. Ever.

And that’s something that will always stay with me for as long as I’m alive.

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4 thoughts on “Heroes

  1. Glenn Z says:

    I took TA154A, B & C, “Motion Picture Editing” from Ed Brokaw at UCLA. The first day he used to say that the course name was incorrect… that we were actually taking “Filmmaking, from the Editor’s Point of View”.

    It was magical the way he always made ME feel so smart in this big ocean of film students. Years later I realized he had that sort of relationship with a lot of students.

    http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/inmemoriam/EdgarLloydBrokaw.htm

  2. Love this last line.
    “He’s not embarrassed to be himself. Ever.”

  3. Jerry says:

    I think you’d be surprised by how often Skye is embarrassed to be himself. He’s just mastered the trick of when to be embarrassed. When it’s time to hit the dance floor, he leaves all that baggage behind, but he also picks it back up when he gets off the floor ;)

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