For Darius Bradshaw, there’s not much in life that can’t be made better with a little dancing.
The former Weatherford College student, who is now majoring in psychology at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, became known for his dancing while at WC. It wasn’t uncommon to see him dancing on his quarter-mile jaunt to school or around campus.
“I still dance to this day. It’s just been part of what I do for years now, and I feel better when I dance,” he said. “It’s not that I always feel bad. I’m typically comfortable, and then dancing makes me feel even better.
“I think it’s just a fun activity that keeps me moving. Different things work for different people as far as making them happy. I would encourage everyone to find a little activity of some kind that makes them happy in their day-to-day.”
And for Bradshaw, 22, that’s dancing. It has been since he was a little kid.
“I liked dancing since I was about 10. My mom could dance. I mainly like dancing as a hobby, although if I was asked to be a backup dancer for a concert I wouldn’t turn it down,” he said.
“Before I knew Darius as a student, he was known by my family as ‘the dancing kid,’” Guided Pathways Specialist Shantee Siebuhr said. “My twins would look for him, dancing his way to school, it made us all smile. You could see him shining, and you could tell his dancing was more than just dancing for fun, it was dancing because it was who he was.”
Likewise, for Assistant Government Professor Nick Pugh, who wrote this letter while Bradshaw was still a student at WC:
“Every morning I take my girls to school driving down Park and turning left on Foster Lane, traveling behind the hospital area. For two semesters now, the girls and I have observed a young man, backpack dutifully slung over his shoulders, headphones in, dancing his way to Weatherford College. I don’t mean bobbing his head to the music. I mean dancing, like with moves. Spinning around, pointing and just soaking in his morning ritual.
“The girls and I had begun to view Dancing Guy (as he became known) as a sort of good omen for the day. He seems undeterred by the weight of the day and dances his way through life. We concluded that this was a fine philosophy for life.”
Bradshaw listens to an assortment of music, and in each genre he finds something he can dance to. His list includes 1980s hits, electro swing, lo-fi jazz, pop, “just whatever sounds good at a given moment. It’s just songs that help me to express how I’m feeling in that moment, or something to take my mind off of everything.”
Bradshaw started dancing in public when he was about 14 in high school, he said.
“Frankly, because the small town I was in didn’t have much for me to do,” he said. “One day I got on this trail beside the highway for a walk and just started dancing, and I haven’t really stopped.”
When he was in high school, the local theatre paid for him to take a jazz dance class about an hour away from where he lived.
“And at the end we had a huge recital, which I enjoyed a lot,” he said.
And yes, he does believe that dancing can make for a better psychological mindset.
“My philosophy is that everything will work out. Sometimes you have to work for it to do so, and sometimes you just need to relax, but either way things will work out in the end,” he said. “You’re worth making yourself happy. To me there isn’t much point to not being happy.”
In Stephenville he’s still walking to class, dancing on the way.
“I still walk to school, but the apartments I live in are a couple blocks down from the university so it’s an even easier walk,” he said.
Of course, any trip seems shorter when you’re dancing.
by Rick Mauch