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The legend of 'Dancing Kevin,' the shirtless, gyrating Blue Jackets fan

Stashed in: Hockey, Dancing!, Awesome, Ohio, Hockey

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Fat guy + decent dancer = comedy gold!!!

I think I need to learn how to dance!

Yes you do!

Shirtless at a hockey game is pretty hardcore. 

the dancing heats things up, have no fear

Sure does look like it:

Schroeder has, over the years, made a sort of cottage industry out of his shirtless, shimmying, shameless self. Someone made him a Facebook fan page; he's busy with work, but is fairly active on Twitter and Instagram.

"Eventually," he says, "sponsors [at Blue Jackets games] started asking, like, 'hey, can the fat guy be there?'" Jay Leno used footage of Schroeder dancing as punchlines in two different bits; once he was Rush Limbaugh, and in another he was Chris Christie. He was noticed further and appeared in television ads in Omaha and Detroit and Edmonton and Halifax.

"They mostly paint their logo on my belly, set up a green screen, and I just dance in front of it," he says. In an ad for a Milwaukee classic rock station that was modeled on the video for Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love," Schroeder played both Palmer and every member of his backing band. He especially likes that one.

This is not something that is going to make Schroeder rich, or afford him much more than the goofy sort of fame that it already has. It is not, and you do not need me to tell you this, high art. It's a large man, who happens to be very good at dancing, doing his darnedest to keep his hands off his own nipples during the couple of minutes that he spends being watched by thousands of strangers. He is unique in how he does this, but there are people like Schroeder in other arenas and stadiums, and other sports.

All true enough, but none of that takes away from what Dancing Kevin does, or how he does it. Most work is pretty insignificant at bottom, and investing even a small portion of our emotional well-being in the ups and downs of a team of athletic strangers is not really the smartest decision, either. In both cases, we redeem and elevate what are mostly silly pursuits by what we bring to them; whatever nobility or importance there is in most of the work we do or the things we care about is stuff we carry there ourselves.

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