Fresno teacher gets millions of views on TikTok with showing off dance moves to students

FRESNO, Calif. -- Whether you were dusting your shoulder off or leanin' and rockin', memorable Hip Hop dances from the early 2000s are making their way through the viral TikTok dance craze.

Austin Lemay, the energetic teacher at Tenaya Middle School in Fresno, was seen on video busting out his old moves for his students.

"I've been waiting 30 years for this," he said.

Lemay is the Campus Culture Director. Dancing on Fridays after class is a regular event for students.

These teens get to show their moves outside of the classroom or even praise Mr.Lemay for his.

"This is my job and this is my career," Lemay said. "More than anything, this is my passion as it is with every other teacher and adult here on campus. These kids are our passion."

The video was posted by fellow teacher Jenny McCauley to bring attention to the good things happening at the school.

In just one day, it received millions of views.

McCauley says the student-staff connection is a high priority for the school.

"We upped our game pretty much," she said. "We stepped it up, we engage with the kids and we have fun. Having fun is really important to us."

"It's been very important to us to provide an environment where kids want to be here, they want to come and connect with other people," says principal Armen Torigian. "I feel like if kids' heads are in the right spot, they are feeling safe and they are having fun, then we can teach them anything that they need to learn."

Dereona Thepphakaysone is one of Mr. Lemay's students and the mastermind behind the original post.

"Due to the pandemic, things slowed down and so I feel like kids are still scared to come back to school and try to make new friends," she said. "Having things more fun makes them feel included, makes them excited to go to school."

Lemay credits his parents for his moves and willingness to get up and dance.

He says he hopes to continue shedding a positive light for the school and the students.
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