Aaron Tucker, a 2017 graduate of Northwest High School, danced in The Weeknd’s Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday, February 7, 2021.
The performance was the biggest of his career since he began dancing in 2015. He started out imitating moves and styles from his dancing role models, like rapper Smino.
When he first began dancing Tucker would show off his moves to friends and family. He even practiced his moves at work. “We’d go in the back in a corner [of Outback] where nobody is and he would show me him dancing” Tucker’s friend and coworker Alejandro Agular said.
As he grew more confident, Tucker began posting videos of his routines on Instagram and TikTok.
When a friend told him The Weeknd was looking for talent, it was Tucker’s dances on Instagram that earned him the role. He sent a private message to the recruiter on Instagram. “She looked at my page and saw that I danced and liked my dancing and she said ok you can come in and we'll give you a shot,” Tucker said.
Unlike a typical year, Tucker only had one week to learn the dances due to Covid protocols. He practiced the routine at the stadium and went directly to the hotel, staying as isolated from others as possible.
“My biggest fear was… somehow getting Covid, coming back and them telling me I can’t perform. Imagine how heartbroken you’d be, having like the biggest experience, on a platform and then not getting to perform,” Tucker said.
In addition, NFL rules prohibited Tucker from sharing his big news before the show. “I had to be quiet for the whole week. You know it's so hard keeping quiet cause it was so exciting,” Tucker said.
After the show, Tucker broke the news in an Instagram post describing his experience. He called Agular shortly after. “He was like, did you watch the halftime show? I'm like yeah, he's like, then you saw me, I'm like, you're lying. I didn't believe it at first,” Agular said.
“Somebody really from here this little town was able to be at something like that where millions upon millions of people watched him, and a lot of people are very impressed and you know proud that he got that done. I am too,” Agular said.
The community was equally excited and surprised for Tucker. His school counselor at Northwest was shocked. “I was surprised to hear it for a couple of reasons. One is that it's so impressive and the other was that I didn't know he danced,” Sean Stewart said. “I think it's really exciting and cool and I am so glad that he had the opportunity to do that because it's amazing.”
Despite moving to Florida for college, Tucker maintains close relationships with his younger brothers. Agular suspects that Tucker did not just inspire the community but also his family. “Maybe that will, you know, drive them to do something better with themselves, you know, do something as big or even bigger than their older brother once did,” Agular said.
Tucker hopes to continue growing his social media following to earn money off his moves. Besides dancing, he is pursuing a criminal justice degree from the University of Central Florida. “Hopefully this is not the biggest thing Aaron has ever done. Hopefully it'll just keep growing and get bigger and bigger but if it is, it's an amazing accomplishment,” Agular said.