He nonchalantly strolls towards the camera through the chill light-hearted string instrument, and then as the hip-hop beat jumps in, Demarko Chase bounces in with it. His body becomes a wave- lot of arms and hands, smoothy swimming around, and his feet seamlessly flow across the floor as if on ice. He grabs onto the air for a moment for leverage to swing his body around and then drops it like a mic. A bright smile sneaks out throughout his freestyling. He eventually settles into the back of the garage like a receding ocean surf and waves his friend to the spotlight.
Chase freestyles with friends to Elijah Who’s song, “we used to talk every night,” in his 4th vlog on his Youtube Channel: Demarko Chase. He watches his recorded dances over and over to see what he can do better, sometimes only letting a few close friends and family look over his shoulder.
“My parents love my dancing. They love it all the time. They make me show off to a lot of people whenever we’re in public even though I don’t want to… but I do it because I love my parents.”
Because his father is hard-of-hearing and his mother is deaf, he finds the family’s passion for music and dance ironic.
“[My parents] can’t hear the lyrics,” says Chase. “They can’t hear the overall soothing tune, but the bass- the hard-hitting bass- they can feel it… [My mom] dances to ‘Men in Black.’ I’ve danced to that with her- like we do ALL the old-school dances.”
That’s right. You’ve seen Chase dance to the latest hip-hop mixes in the last two Jenks High School talent shows (in which he won 2nd place both times), but he appreciates the classics just as much.
“A lot of the times when I dance I usually get distracted, so I can’t really find a new move, and I start dancing to ‘Men in Black’ or the old-school ‘Cupid Shuffle,’” says Chase.
He hides his shy smile by turning his head away as he recalls the time when he stayed up all night teaching himself 23 different variations of the ‘Cupid Shuffle.’ His siblings try to mimic their big brother’s moves. They can’t, of course, but Chase admits that he can’t copy some his little brother’s moves. Trevor (little bro) is small and can get low while over-6-foot-tall Chase struggles to keep close to the ground. He respects people who come up with unique moves.
“You ask yourself that question: What fueled them to do that move? How could I do it- if I could do it- and would it feel the same way?”
Chase describes most of his own moves as charismatic and fun, but he says slow melancholy dancing is a challenge he’s willing to take up. Regardless of what tone he chooses to take on, the artform instills happy feelings within him.
“I know most people describe [dancing] as a whole other world- I feel like I can describe it as a whole other universe,” says Chase.
Hip-hop dancing on stage in a glowing white outfit, the 2017 Jenks talent show audience caught a glimpse at the shining star of Demarko’s dancing universe. To see more, check out his Youtube Channel @Demarko Chase.
By Charlotte Suttee