Back in August, Justin Bieber released “What Do You Mean?” the second single from his album Purpose, which broke records and hearts around the world. August was also a time in which segways, those hoverboard-like rolly devices, starting showing up on street corners, in offices, and music videos. Coincidence? We think not.
It took only a few months for choreographer David Moore, 32, to create the “What Do You Mean” segway dance, a video which garnered over 3 million views on YouTube and a sign-off from Biebs himself. (“Dope,” he tweeted with the link.) The Huffington Post said the dance “changes everything.” Billboard dubbed the video “eye-popping.” And The Verge wrote, “Help me get a handle on the line between stupid and genius.”
We’re leaning toward genius.
“Literally the day he released ‘What Do You Mean?’ I was headed to Chipotle on my hoverboard,” Moore tells EW. “The way the beat is, the way he’s singing, it’s asking for some air board choreography.”
Moore, whose credits include work on Beyoncé’s “Run The World” and Pharrell’s “Happy” music videos, says he quickly tried to get a group of young male dancers together to flesh out a routine, and found five guys who happened to have air boards.
The clip, seen above in full, was filmed over six hours in a 14,000-square-foot warehouse in Los Angeles. “Once we shot it, I knew we had something special,” Moore says. “We got to the warehouse and saw the space, I knew we could really travel. I was filming it on a segway as well, so I was able to keep up with them and move through the formations.”
After a few days of editing and social media build-up, Moore released the video on his YouTube channel and soon after, it picked up steam with write-ups from publications (including this one), the Bieber sign-off, and eventually performance offers.
“I thought the dance industry would embrace it,” he says. “But I think Bieber’s co-sign started a waterfall effect of people sharing it on social media. All the guys and me are such huge fans of Bieber and his music that we were like, ‘WHAT!’ The dance industry idolizes him.”
Since then, Moore and his team have performed segway dances on Good Morning America, NBA opening night on TNT, and Nickelodeon’s Halo Awards. For Moore, his viral moment was just the beginning of introducing segway dancing to the masses.
“I want to really prove dancing on segways is a reputable form of entertainment whether people have wrapped their minds around it or not,” he says. “Mixing technology of the boards with dancing will be a reputable form of entertainment.”