Galyean was a cheerleader in high school, and planned to continue but was unable to.
Cover image source: TikTok/@vol_danceteam
By Suchitra B
November 1, 2022
Michael Galyean never thought his childhood dream would come true until Oct. 29, when he danced in front of 105,000 people at the University of Tennessee Stadium. On the same subject : The Eagles Cheerleaders welcome 11 new members for the 2021 season. Galyean was a cheerleader in high school, and planned to continue but was unable to. Almost 20 years after high school, she finally got her chance to wow the crowd when she was asked to perform with the University of Tennessee dance team at a football game.
Galyean shared on Instagram that calling it a “dream come true” would be an understatement, with a video that has been viewed more than 45,000 times. In the caption, Galyean wrote her story: “I was accepted to Tennessee and Kentucky and chose these schools based solely on their cheerleading programs. While visiting UT, I remember turning the corner from campus, seeing the monumental Neyland Stadium, and saying, ‘I’m choosing UT, these days. because I’ll encourage those sides.” Well, the safe and weak me never tried for the team and I’ve always regretted not fulfilling my childhood dream.”
Galyean shared with Newsweek that the University’s cheerleaders intimidated her. “I knew all the cheerleaders in the state and then to see the beast [University of Tennessee] is cheering for, I was like, ‘OK this is not for me,'” he said. Galyean finished school, got a job and did some cheerleading. Her additional training is a dance class she took in college. He mentioned that after working in retail for more than 20 years, he lost his job last year.
Galyean saw this as a sign to start pursuing his own interests at that point. “So I’ve spent the last year just throwing darts, whether it’s the TV work we have here in Knoxville, in front of the camera and behind the camera, trying different things,” he said. “I organize events around town, I work with different dance shops.”
Galyean has worked with the dance team’s Spirit Program Director, Kelley Tafazzoli, and knew he was looking for ways to enhance the fan experience. “UT’s Spirit Program reached out to me explaining that they wanted to do ‘a little bit’ at their next game involving some acting and dancing and I was the first person that came to mind. I said… say less,” he wrote. In the Instagram post. “Kelley knew I have a history of being a showboat,” she laughed. “I think he felt comfortable that I would do the role well and respectfully.”
After being contacted on October 20th and receiving the video of the October 23rd event, he received an hour of official training with the team before the performance on October 29th. He wrote in the post, “At halftime, I put on an Axis Security T-shirt. I ‘worked’ the entire third quarter as sideline security, guarding the area in front of the student section and in front of the dance team.”
In the video, Galyean can be seen standing in front of the group as they begin their routine wearing a blue safety shirt and a pair of khakis. Another person standing next to him approached him after acting like he was in a fight with a member of the dance team. Galyean backed away as the music increased, then joined the group dancing as the music dropped! He then began to dance his moves in the middle of the group as the audience clapped and shouted for him, and ended the routine by striking a pose with the group.
More than 15 million people have watched the TikTok video of the dance group’s routine. The video started trending on Reddit after it was posted on the subreddit r/MadeMeSmile. TikTok user Alexa shared, “No, they really sold her. They had me😂.” User toniii commented: “OMG HE ATE IT AND LEFT ZERO SNAPS!” Reddit user u/ravengenesis1 commented, “I was hoping to be part of the action. But I didn’t expect it to break a move like this.”