John Griffith loves to dance, and the crew supervisor at the California Conservation Corps was being shown a few moves by his employees when he busted out a few of his own, leaving them stunned.
Video of the episode was posted online and it’s making the dancers genuine Internet stars.
Griffith, a self-described “big fat white cowboy,” can’t believe it.
“I’m glad that people enjoy that video and I’m so glad that it’s making so many people happy,” the Ukiah, Calif., man, 42, told ABCNews.com Tuesday night. “The comments that I’ve been able to read since this happened have just really, really moved me and I think that it’s good for corps programs.”
The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is a state agency that provides training, employment and scholarship opportunity for youth. Corps members work to protect and restore California’s environment. Other states have their own corps programs.
Griffith and his crew had been working on location on salmon habitat restoration last summer when they shot the video. They were finishing up for the day and Griffith said he wanted to film corps members at work.
“They had been teaching me little moves and stuff and I strung it all together and I watched it and I said, ‘I am not letting anybody see this, because no one wants to see a fat cowboy dancing,’” he recalled, laughing.
But he was persuaded to post the video so one of the corps members’ mothers could see it.
The video starts off with two men – Antwon McCoy and Leonard Patton – dancing to hip-hop music. After a few seconds, Griffith enters the shot wearing his work uniform and a Western-style hat. At first, he dances tentatively, but quickly shows his break-dance skill.
McCoy and Patton, who are black, are clearly delighted. One of them even rushes in to give Griffith an enthusiastic embrace from behind.
Griffith said McCoy and Patton are “ecstatic” about the video’s popularity.
“They love this journey and they’re loving the attention,” he said.
Griffith prefers a rural setting now but he grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. He learned to dance in his youth, and loves to bust out his break-dance and beat-box skills with new groups of corps members to see their reactions.
“They see this big fat white cowboy with a hairy face and they think he’s going to come up here and talk about country music …. and when they find out that I’m multi-faceted, it shocks them,” he said. “And it helps me reach them. I’ve devoted my life to reconnecting youth with nature and helping them learn sustainable employment skills and if I have to dance to make that happen, put the music on!”
Griffith posted the video online a few months ago, but said it really exploded when he uploaded it Sunday to Reddit, a social media-sharing website.