Freshman cross-country runner Kyle Liang dances his way to YouTube fame

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Updated: October 17, 2013

By Tanner Harding

He’s a man of many talents. Wearing a Quinnipiac cross-country pullover, it’s clear to students that freshman Kyle Liang is an athlete.

What isn’t as well advertised is his dancing ability.  Liang has a YouTube channel with videos of him dancing that has amassed more than 2.6 million views.

His dancing started when he was in middle school. Liang was watching “America’s Best Dance Crew” on MTV when he saw the Jabbawockeez perform.

“I had never seen dancing like that before,” Liang said. “Not only were they doing breakdancing, but they were doing other styles that I had never seen before.”

Photo composite by Rebecca Castagna

Photo composite by Rebecca Castagna

This happened around the time Liang started to discover YouTube.  He realized he could look up dance tutorials and started watching “how to breakdance” videos. He began learning different moves from these videos, and he started branching out once he mastered them.  After learning the basic breakdancing moves, he started studying dancers’ styles and then sculpting his own.

Liang’s dancing is influenced by many different styles. Two of his favorite dancers to watch and learn from are French twins Laurent and Larry Bourgeois. They go by the name Les Twins, and videos of their dancing on YouTube have hundreds of thousands of views.

“They’re incredibly unique, and their musicality is almost unworldly,” Liang said.

Although he watches many different dancers for inspiration, Liang’s style is all his own. He creates his unique style by blending other genres. The two heaviest influences on his dancing are hip-hop choreography and urban animation. Many of his viewers have told him he is best at “waving” and “tutting,” which have become some of his signature moves.

His YouTube channel started to grow once he learned the “ins and outs” of the website, but he still never thought its popularity would grow to this extent.

“It’s flattering,” he said of his viewers.

He realized that they enjoy watching him grow and progress as a dancer, and in return he has created various step-by-step, “how to” videos so his viewers can learn new moves, as well.

So far Liang has only ever performed in noncompetitive shows, and his performing has been relatively informal – but he would like to try competing someday.  One of his favorite performances was at a high school fashion show his junior year.

“People really responded to [the performance],” Liang said.

He posted the dance online and people still talk to him about it.

With his popularity on YouTube, it’s not a surprise Liang’s teammates have seen his dancing.

“He’s awesome,” teammate Alex Doherty said. “I’m pretty jealous because that’s a significant talent. It’s almost like he could dance instead of run and be just as successful.”

Liang is always looking for ways to improve and grow as a dancer, so he has joined a freestyle dance group at Quinnipiac. He also said that even though Dance Fusion isn’t really his style, he would consider joining it if it weren’t for his already busy schedule with school and cross-country.

Though Liang has not uploaded a new video in a while, he’s planning on making another one very soon.

“My roommate does film, and I dance so I think that’s God’s sign to me that I need to make more videos,” he said.

Liang’s viewers will surely be happy to see him post another video, and maybe this time they will get to see a few cameos from his new teammates.

To see his videos, go to http://youtube.com/kyle214 or search “Kyle Liang” in the YouTube search bar.

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