By Crystal Burns
Dyer Ptlm. Mark Meadows tends to be the life of the party.
“I just love to dance,” he said.
The 36-year-old Rutherford native never expected a video of him doing “The Git Up,” surrounded by a crowd of children at the Dyer Station Celebration street dance to go viral (circulated rapidly on the internet).
“It’s blowing my mind,” Meadows said. “I would’ve never guessed it.”
The video, which has been posted and shared on social media, had garnered 2.7 million views as of last Thursday.
Although he didn’t know anyone would record it for posterity, Meadows began preparing for his time in the spotlight a week earlier. Meadows had seen “The Git Up” Challenge spreading like wildfire on social media. The dance goes along with the song of the same name, which is performed by Blanco Brown and has been called the “next viral country rap song.” Brown filmed himself performing a line dance to the song, which was later used in the music video.
Meadows was working out at Cageman Gym in Trenton when he put the song on and learned the dance steps in between sets.
Meadows volunteered to work at the street dance, so the small Dyer Police Department could keep two officers on street patrol during the festivities. Assistant Police Chief Rodney Wilkins played DJ and put on “The Git Up.”
“As soon as it started playing, [the children] all jumped out there with me,” Meadows said.
At one point, Meadows looked up and saw 30 to 40 people with their phones out, snapping pictures and recording his dance.
“The pressure was on,” Meadows joked. “It definitely wasn’t planned.”
Meadows said his son Ace, 13, had a typical teenager’s reaction to seeing his father dance. He rolled his eyes. But after he saw so many kids join in with his dad, Ace was proud, telling his father he had done awesome.
The next morning, Meadows woke to his wife and children smiling mischievously at him. They pulled up Facebook and showed him the video, which had already been viewed several thousand times.
“They told me, ‘We think you’re going to go viral,’” Meadows said. “It just blew my mind.”
Meadows said the impromptu dance session shows children they can go to police officers for help. Now when he’s out on patrol or in the community, kids wave and smile at him.
“I just love it,” he said.
Meadows, a graduate of Peabody High School, joined the Dyer department in January 2017. He has a total of nine years of experience in law enforcement and said that being a police officer or joining the military was always his dream.
In two months, Meadows will his military dreams come true. He has joined the Air Force and will attend boot camp in San Antonio and tech school for cyber transport in Biloxi, Miss.
“It’s something I’ve almost done a couple times in the past,” Meadows said.
He first contemplated joining the Marines in 2001 and again in 2004.
“This time, I’m doing it,” he said. “I’m in the best shape of my life now.”
His family – wife Bridget and children Logan, Connor, Camdyn and Ace – are supportive.
Watch the video of Meadows’ smooth moves on The Tri-City Reporter Facebook.