Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dancing Priest Steals the Show During Catholic School Pep Rally


A priest at a Catholic high school in Florida surprised students when he jumped on the court to join the dance team last month.

The video quickly went viral on social media and is breaking stereotypes normally associated with clergy members.

Father Ricardo Rivera is a theology teacher at Cardinal Gibbons Catholic High School in Ft. Lauderdale, according to ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

As the school’s homecoming pep rally approached, the recently ordained priest planned the perfect surprise to hype up students.

The school said Rivera watched a video of the school’s dance team performing their routine and taught himself the choreography.

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But he largely kept his skills to himself.

On Oct. 25, during the school’s pep rally, Rivera walked onto the court during the dance team’s routine and joined in perfectly, surprising the entire school.

The students in the bleachers erupted and cheered for the “#DancingPriest.”

The school said Rivera only attended one dance team practice for 15 minutes to practice his entrance.

Cardinal Gibbons High School later posted a video of the surprise performance to social media.

“There’s nothing like a #Gibbons pep rally! #DancingPriest,” the school wrote on Twitter.

Unsurprisingly, the video quickly went viral and has since garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

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Many commenters commended Rivera for showing a less rigid side to a life dedicated to God.

“Dedicating you life to God, following the strict moral and ethical guidelnes that comes with that can also include dance, laughter, singing and being just generally filled with the joy that is the gift of life,” one man wrote.

Rivera shared a Bible passage — Philippians 4:4-5 — on his Facebook page following the viral moment.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near,” the passage reads.

He also said his intention in dancing was “to live the missionary spirit.”

“Likewise,” he said, “I reiterate my commitment to preach a dead and risen Jesus with these students from the joy of being a Christian.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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