It’s been three years since Katy Perry lit up the Super Bowl halftime stage with her colorful medley of pop songs (pre-Witness), and one of her backup dancers – now known as Left Shark – became a dominant meme on social media.
In a recent interview with NPR, Bryan Gaw, the man inside the shark suit, spoke out for the first time about what happened on that very public stage to make him seemingly flail about off-beat from Perry and his fellow shark.
“So there’s a set choreography,” Gaw told NPR. “There’s also what’s called freestyle choreography, or, like you get to move around or play your character as a dancer. … I’m in a 7-foot shark costume. There’s no cool in that. So what’s the other option? Well, I’m gonna play a different character.”
Back in 2015, Gaw (obviously unrecognizable in his giant blue shark costume) wasn’t interested in talking to the media about how his rogue moves made headlines, out of respect for Perry and wanting the focus to stay on her.
Now that time has passed, he takes that performance as a point of pride.
“Actually, I don’t get any negative feedback from [being Left Shark],” he said. “If anything, people are like, ‘Whoa, that’s so cool!'”
NPR reports that Gaw even lists the gig on his resume.
The dancer, who had toured with Perry for five years when he got the plumb Super Bowl assignment, revealed that he had actually rehearsed his improv movements before the show, but he had no idea how big of a reaction it would get.
Told that his dance moves were “maximum goofy” instead of the “a little goofy” he had anticipated, Gaw said with a laugh, “Totally. I’m on a maximum stage!”
Justin Timberlake will perform at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show this Sunday.