Tom Steyer’s dance moves go viral, at his expense. He’s not alone among dancing candidates

Tom Steyer
Tom Steyer arrives on stage for the Democratic presidential primary debate in Charleston on Feb. 25.
(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer may have drawn as much ridicule as anything else for the video of him dancing to a rap song at a campaign event, but at least he’s in good company.

The Bay Area billionaire had yet to collect a delegate ahead of the South Carolina primary and was polling around 2% nationally at press time. Results from South Carolina put him in third place there, with about 11% of the vote, and Steyer dropped out of the race Saturday evening.

But Friday night at a rally at historically black Allen University in Columbia, hopes still high, Steyer was joined onstage by Juvenile for a rendition of the rapper’s 1999 hit, “Back That Azz Up.” Though the candidate did wield a mic, he largely left the verses to the pro (Steyer’s wife and daughter served as backup dancers). Footage of the spectacle was suddenly everywhere, in tweets, retweets, social media and news stories.


The jokes at the candidate’s expense flew. While there was no Eminem-style battle-rap beatdown, Steyer may have suffered some bruises.

Some predicted (jokingly) that the stunt would radically shift Steyer’s fortunes.

One Twitter wag created an account simply to dub in various song choices to Steyer’s moves. Here, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling” gets the honors:

Even James Woods, a Trump supporter and prominent conservative voice in Hollywood, chimed in.


To be fair, Steyer is hardly the first presidential candidate to prove unlikely to win a season of “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Combat veteran and former mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg may have raised $24.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, but he failed to raise the roof.

These moves would not raise the roof of a doll house.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been known to cut a rug — even giving 23 different female partners a twirl just months after a heart attack. That wasn’t his only turn on the floor: In other, undated footage, Sanders trips the light fantastic.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) got points for a wider variety of moves at a Brooklyn rally, though she did lean slightly toward the “King Tut.” She fared a bit better here:

Elizabeth Warren dancing

But Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) probably wins this contest based on rhythm and energy.

Though if the Democratic primary were a dance-off, it seems clear Andrew Yang would never have dropped out ...

... and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) might be measuring the drapes in the Oval Office.


Whether Steyer’s turn in the barrel as “dancing fool” cost him votes is questionable. It’s hard to imagine President Trump ever won a contest on “Dance Fever.”

Donald Trump “dances” at church service

And though he gets marks for enthusiasm, former President George W. Bush didn’t have such sharp moves, either.