Bar and bat mitzvahs — Jewish coming of age rituals — are happy occasions that are often followed by big parties that include great food and dancing. One father made sure to make his daughter’s bat mitzvah celebration special by introducing a little unexpected fun into the party.
Stand-up comedian Mike Hanley was up to a few tricks at his daughter Jessica Hanley’s bat mitzvah celebration in 2012, as you’ll see in the video below. However, during the event’s father-daughter dance, Mike seemed reserved — even shy — when it came to busting a move in front of his family members and friends.
And viewers might wonder: Why am I even watching this boring video of a normal dad slow dancing with his daughter? But moments later, Mike and his daughter seem to stun onlookers as they break into an energetic dance medley that includes songs like Soulja Boy’s “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and a whole host of other pop tracks from the 2010s.
It’s clear that this father-daughter duo choreographed the 5-minute long routine, as the two mirrors each other’s dance moves from the “Dougie” to a couple of well-coordinated shakes. Throughout the performance, the audience members cheer, egging the Hanleys on as they cycle through countless tracks with smiles on their faces.
Since the video’s upload in 2012, it has accumulated more than 20 million views and 30,000 likes, making it one of the 2010s biggest viral videos. And there’s good news for fans of this well-known clip — there’s a sequel!
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video 🙂
In 2014, two years after Jessica’s bat mitzvah video went viral, Mike uploaded another father-daughter dance performance from his daughter Isabelle’s Hanley’s celebration. Much like Hanley’s first video, Isabelle and Mike begin their dance normally enough. Mike plays the role of a shy and stuffy middle-aged dad, slow dancing with his daughter as the audience looks on with tired looks on their faces.
But Mike and Isabelle don’t let the snoozefest go on for too long. Just seconds into their slow dance, the two break away from each other and grab microphones from members in the audience. Instead of just dancing to hits like in the original, Mike has upgraded his routine, opting to rap alongside his daughter. Hence the video’s title: father-daughter dance “rap style.” And Mike and his daughter don’t just lip-sync the songs — they rap alongside the beat without any crutches, starting out with Run-DMC’s “It’s Tricky.”
Other highlights include Eminem’s classic “Lose Yourself,” which the two have changed slightly to match the occasion. “Yo, look,” Mike raps. “If you had one shot, one bat mitzvah, would you seize everything you ever wanted? One moment. Or would you let it slip by?”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop” also makes an appearance alongside the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).” With nearly 300,000 views, 1,000 likes, and dozens of comments, the Hanley’s sequel didn’t go as viral as the original; however, users from around the world nonetheless left enthusiastic comments, celebrating the performance and speaking about how sweet the performance is.
What This Dad Did
Around a month after Mike uploaded the clip, he and his daughter appeared live on the TODAY show with Lester Holt. After showcasing the video as part of the segment’s best viral videos of the week, the dancing duo was asked a couple of questions before Mike and Jessica reenacted the performance for a live audience and viewers across the U.S.
Jessica explained to TODAY’s hosts that the dance took two around three months to learn and that she and her father picked out all the songs themselves. Surprisingly, she also admits that the dance routine was her mom’s idea! “I give her all the credit!” Mike adds on the show.
Beyond being an excellent dancer and rapper, Hanley works as a stand-up comedian. According to his website, he describes his style as “high energy, full-tilt comedy” that “has left audiences all over erupting in laughter.” “There is no mistaking Mike’s trademark intensity the minute he hits the stage,” he adds on his website. In an interview with 92 PRO FM ahead of a performance at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Hanley spoke to some of the craziest venues he’s performed at earlier in his career.
“When you’re a comedian and you get offered a show, you say yes. And then you ask where it is. So here’s a couple of ones. ‘Want to do a show? It’s called Apex.’ It was in the washing machine and dryer section,” Mike said. “I stood on four milk cartoons, a piece of wood, and a painter’s light and did jokes while people were shopping for washing machines. From that moment to Foxwoods (Casino) this weekend, there’s a little bit of a leap there.” If you’re interested in Mike’s comedy, you can check out his YouTube channel, Instagram, and his Facebook.