At exceptional times, unexpected idols. Just a month ago, Ryan Heffington, 46, was known for the crazy choreography in which he danced Hollywood celebrities and the lucky few at Sweat Spot, his dance studio in Los Angeles's Silverlake neighborhood. Since mid-March, wisely confined to his house in the California desert, he has stirred, six days a week, between 6,000 and 10,000 Instagram subscribers who take advantage of these athletic meetings in music to let off steam from their bedroom, their living room or bathroom. In order to amplify the feeling of community, certain groups of friends even meet to dance “together” through the Zoom or Houseparty applications. Others challenge jet lag by catching up with today's session on Instagram Live, which keeps each video twenty-four hours after it airs.
“I grew up in Yuba City, a hometown in northern California. Being a queer kid in a small farming town was not easy every day, but I always danced. I was born dancing. “
“I receive messages from Greece, Japan and even Australia! “, Heffington marvels, dazed by this viral success which marks, it is certain, a turning point in his career. It must be said that the “Heffington style”, which combines the uninhibited spontaneity of children's dances as well as the feverish fits of devotees of the Evangelical Church, is a ready-made therapy for our bodies suffering from forced immobility. His highly recognizable creations are all explosions, in which apparently docile beings are suddenly overcome by fits of restless madness. The disorganized movements of the little blonde girl from the clip Candlestick, Sia's tube? It was him. The hysterical-athletic decompression of Margaret Qualley in her green evening dress for a Kenzo ad signed Spike Jonze? Him too. The strange movements of the characters in the series The OA ? Him again.
In a decade, Heffington has become a star of the genre, multiplying influential fans who can't say enough about him, from the Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone, whom he directed in Anna, a delirious musical short film, to the singer-dancer FKA Twigs (with whom he collaborated for a clip and an Apple ad produced, too, by Spike Jonze). The realization of a childhood dream for this little boy educated in the pop culture of the 1980s in front of MTV. “I grew up in Yuba City, a northern California hometown, he says. Being a queer kid in a small farming town was not easy every day, but I always danced. I was born dancing. “
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