Taking a quick break from the tension between law enforcement and society, a Virginia cop recently pumped students up at a high school pep rally with his impressive rendition of Beyoncé’s “Formation” choreography.
Officer Deuntay Diggs was met with roaring applause and cheers as he effortlessly slayed every move in the middle of the North Stafford High School gymnasium last week.
He first performed the dance two months ago for a lip syncing contest benefiting children who needed school supplies. He executed the choreography after learning it just one night before.
“I’m a huge Beyoncé fan. So the night before, I just watched her video on YouTube over and over again, and then I memorized it, practiced it, and the next day I did it,” Diggs told BuzzFeed.
His partner, Benjamin Leitner, is a technology resource teacher at North Stafford High School where Diggs performed the dance for the second time at the school's Homecoming rally on Friday.
Diggs is the first openly gay deputy working for the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, according to The Huffington Post. The dancing deputy said he was very close to cancelling his appearance at the pep rally upon learning his mother was diagnosed with cancer.
However, after showing videos of his dancing to his mom, she encouraged him to keep doing it — and, that he did!
His performance quickly went viral as videos of his routine circulated throughout social media over the weekend.
“The reason I’m doing this is to show kids that they can make it, that they can survive, that they can be successful,” Diggs reportedly said. “I’ve been very fortunate, at this time when people look negatively upon law enforcement, that I’m able to change that narrative and open up some conversations and engage with people.”
“That’s what this is about, loving one another and agreeing to disagree, but being respectful,” he added.
It may have been unintentional, but there is also an underlying significance to Diggs’ performance selection.
When the music video for “Formation” first debuted, it was heavily criticized by members of law enforcement throughout the nation for being “anti-police” and supposedly fueling tensions between people of color and cops.
Diggs' choice to dance to that particular song sends a message that counteracts many of his fellow officers’ opposition to it.
In that moment, “Formation” was just a fun, up-tempo tune pumping up a group of kids. The political frenzy surrounding it was nonexistent, and the internet loved every second of it.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter Screengrab, @imxlino