ArtBody PoliticsCultureWe See You

big boys dance, too

August 20, 2019
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Early last year, we introduced you to the wonderful world of artist/dancer/all-around bae, Hippy Potter. A jack of all the trades, Hippy (a.k.a. Thaddeus Coates) first caught our eye with his vibrant, afrofuturistic illustrations aimed at “redefining social stereotypes” through provocative, expressive images. They were visual celebrations of Black culture, creative achievements and beauty. The New York-based artist even has a children’s book SHINE: The Podderite Chronicles, which follows a diverse group of kids who embark upon an out-of-this-world adventure.

As we dive deeper into our examination of our Black bodies, Hippy Potter stands out from the pack for his beautiful spirit and the physical creativity he expresses through dance. A self-described “big mon”, the graceful giant does what so many Black people are hesitant to do: take up space. In a world of itty-bitty ballerinas and wispy Instagram dancers, Thaddeus is out here reppin’ for every Black male dancer who felt like they didn’t fit in the world of dance because of their size or identity. More than that, he’s a hell of a dancer who puts a smile on our face with every new video.

Thaddeus was kind enough to speak with us about his work, dancing, and inspiring others last week. Check out the interview, below!


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You are a person of many talents. I remember first hearing about you through your artwork and children’s book. How do you define yourself as an artist?

I feel that I’m constantly growing and evolving as an artist, learning to be fluid in all mediums I chose to take on as to allow myself to radiate positivity throughout all of my talents.


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Learned it 😴 @samsmith — @parrisgoebel #HowDoYouSleep — #BIGBOYSDANCETOO

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How has your artistry and style evolved over the years?

My artistry definitely has undergone a metamorphosis. I use to be scared of adding details for fear of messing up, the very first thing I conquering to drawing eyes, once I gave myself amnesty it was a lot easier to just let go.

How does dance help you express yourself? How has posting your dancing videos altered or enhanced the way you see your body?


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…Ready For It? 😏 — #tbt choreo: @mileskeeney- @taylorswift #BIGBOYSDANCETOO 😝

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Dance is one of those things that’s second nature to me, movement is such a powerful tool, and I love creating/telling stories through dance. It’s helped me empower so many.

I’ve always shared dance videos since I can remember, and I started growing, I became more aware of the impact of someone who is built like me dancing as light as a feather..the impact that has and how it inspires so many, I love it.

In society, there are so many tiny boxes that men are confined to. Do you feel the pressure to conform or downplay your physicality? Do you have any messages for men who find themselves trapped in ‘boxes’?

Thankfully I don’t adhere to any of those boxes, I embrace the fluidity of character that I take on when I dance, being a “man” means so many things, the definition is different to everyone, being the best I can be fearlessly is what a man is so by my definition I’m doing pretty darn good!

Tell me something you love about your body.

I love how long I am, I’m really tall so it allows me to add a bit more brevity to certain areas of dance, I’m rather solid and it makes moves that much more powerful. #BIGBOYSDANCETOO


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My FAVORITE class of 2018 also a MOOD for 2019 🎉 (lemme get a dance campaign 👀) #INMYFEELINGS x @champagnepapi 💃🏾: @mileskeeney -🎥: @jaynaphotography No matter if you’re 2’7” or 6’6” if you want to dance DO IT. & be so great that they can’t deny you even if they TRIED. also reminds me that dancing should make you HAPPY. FYI: #REPRESENTATIONMATTERS and #BIGBOYSDANCETOO don’t let them tell you otherwise 😉 . . . —#dance #dancevideo #inmyfeelings @theshaderoom #inmyfeelingschallenge #dotheshiggy @danceon #bodypositivity @hollywoodunlocked #danceon #choreography #trending #jazzfunk #nyc #scorpion #tsr #tsrtalent #hiphopdance #epicdancevideos — #danceforpep

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