Following a 43-24 win over Georgia Tech, Clemson has plenty to dance about, including Head Coach Dabo Swinney, who has a history of busting a move or two. But after five straight wins, Swinney can’t stop doing the Whip & Nae Nae. The Black Sheep hit the dance floor to understand Dabo’s dancing problem.
“I can’t stop,” said Coach Swinney while doing the Whip. Because he was focused on trying to switch from Whip to Nae Nae more smoothly, interviewing Swinney in his office proved difficult. “I’ve been practicing,” said Swinney as he paused to rewind Silentό’s video “Watch Me” on YouTube. “This dadgum dance is pretty hard.”
Video of Swinney’s awkward attempt at the popular dance surfaced after the Louisville game. “He needed to decompress,” said quarterback Deshaun Watson. Officials from the Athletic Department brought Watson to Swinney’s office to talk some sense into him. “We taught him how to do it,” explained a frustrated Watson as he tried to get Swinney to sit down. “We never thought it would come to this.”
Gregory Brown, a clinical psychologist at Redfern, calls it “hyperchoreographic disorder.” “It’s especially sinister for first-timers,” said Brown. “Whether the Superman, Waddle, or Whip, novices can get hooked immediately.” Swinney’s dancing addiction probably started last October. In a video produced by Clemson for Homecoming 2014, Swinney lip-syncs and dances to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” “Pharrell’s music is a gateway dance for more serious addiction,” explained Brown. “It goes from happy to sad really fast.”
As motivation for the October 3rd Notre Dame game, Swinney promised to Whip if Clemson won. After the 24-22 victory, Swinney proclaimed in a post-game interview, “We’re going to do the Whip & Nae Nae tonight, I promise you that!” A video released by Clemson athletics shows Swinney delivering on that promise. “I was happy for Dabo when they won,” said Swinney’s wife, Kathleen. She was nice enough to invite TBS into their home. “But since that night, he’s been doing the Whip nonstop,” said Mrs. Swinney as she teared up. “He’s even dancing in church now.”
The win over Georgia Tech was the tipping point. “We were celebrating and dancing after the game,” said a Clemson player who wishes to remain anonymous. “The team was tired, so we stopped dancing,” he recalled while packing up in the locker room. “I guess Coach couldn’t stop.” The players are worrying that Swinney’s addiction will interfere with his coaching.
Coach Swinney sees things differently. “I’m not addicted to dancing,” insisted Swinney during practice. “This addiction stuff is bullcrap!” Trying not to dance, his withdrawal tremors showed. “It’s cool, and I enjoy doing it!” shouted Swinney. He whistled the players over and told them to take a fifteen minute break. “I’m going to the bathroom,” said Swinney before disappearing. “He went thirty minutes ago,” said Associate Head Coach Dan Brooks. “He ain’t taking a piss,” said Brooks while shaking his head. “He’s doing that damn dance again.”
After practice that day, Swinney started seeing the toll that the Whip was having on his family and the team. He finally agreed to attend a 12-step program for Danceaholics Anonymous (DA). “It’ll be hard to break this dang habit, but I have four letters for you,” said a confident Swinney in a phone interview. “BYOG.”