TAMPA, Fla. — To make the Super Bowl halftime show successful, it took a lot more than just The Weeknd. Hundreds of locals got to be a part of the performance.
The dancers in the red jackets on the field swore to secrecy leading up to the game. But now they can tell us it was a night they won’t forget.
Marcus Borders performs on cruise ships but hasn’t been able to dance professionally since the pandemic started.
“It was a really cool experience to get back on stage, and at this level,” Borders said.
Henry Calderon is USF student.
Organizers of the halftime show called his fraternity looking for volunteers.
“I thought that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I probably will never be able to do this again,” Calderon said.
The two were among the approximately 300 dancers in those red jackets and bandaged faces that took the field at Super Bowl LV with The Weeknd.
“I really like his music. I have been listening to it for a while now. It’s crazy being able to perform with him,” said Calderon.
The dancers had six days of rehearsal, lasting about seven hours each. The last few were with The Weeknd himself.
“He didn’t speak much, but once everything got to a point where it was really, really good, he acknowledged it and said, ‘great job.’ He even came around and gave handshakes and hugged people,” said Borders.
The dancers went to the stadium on buses and waited for their moment.
“For me, the most memorable part was just walking into the stadium and then seeing all these people scream and then jump up and down, and them waiving you down. I was just taking it all in,” said Calderon.
They didn’t really appreciate the full scale until after it was over and watched the video.
“After watching it, I thought it was really cool that we just did this. After I saw it, I was just like wow,” said Borders.
The dancers were all volunteers. So no paychecks. But they did get to keep the red suits, the bandaged headpiece and a halftime show ball cap.