TUCSON, Ariz. – He adjusts his coat. He gazes out at the crowd. And then he goes for it.
President Donald Trump, a man who is famously particular about his appearance, is fully embracing doing a dad dance to the Village People's “YMCA” as the finale to his rallies in the campaign's closing stretch.
He starts with the arms, clenched fists pumping back and forth — sometimes to the beat — as though he's on an elliptical trainer. He claps. He waves. And then he starts to bop his head and move his knees. On some nights, he sticks mostly to pointing and clapping. But on others, he lurches from side to side and jerks his body as the crowd cheers.
Backstage, top staff and campaign aides often join in with the more traditional take, using their bodies to spell out Y-M-C-A to the strains of the cheesy '70s anthem.
Trump's rally dance has become a rare moment of levity in an otherwise miserable campaign year marked by a deadly pandemic, an economic recession and racial turmoil. And while Trump has largely been shunned by pop culture, the dance has spawned a viral TikTok video challenge (even though he's threatened to ban the site in the U.S.) and a parody on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
“Do you want to shake your groove thing but don’t know the steps? Then order 'Dancing with The Don’ and let President Trump teach you all the hottest moves!" Colbert's show advertised in a parody infomercial.
Trump's campaign staff and family members have also been promoting clips and copycats as the president trails in most national polls and in many battleground states just two weeks out from Election Day.
“Love it!” the president's daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, wrote as she retweeted a video posted by a young woman replicating the president's moves.