With a little help from Sia, Lexus' 2017 Super Bowl commercial will have you dancing on the ceiling. In this case, that's meant quite literally. The soundtrack to all that dancing is Sia's "Move Your Body" off her 2016 album This Is Acting. Unfortunately she's not pulling a Beyoncé and debuting any new songs via the Super Bowl, but this commercial, dubbed "Man & Machine," is reminding us how much fans love her well-choreographed videos. Maddie Ziegler isn't the star of this one, which begs the question, who is the dancer in the Lexus Super Bowl commercial?
That would be Lil Buck, a professional freestyle street dancer from Memphis, TN, who at 28 years old has become a commercial success thanks to his intricate dance moves. The dancer, who is now based in Las Vegas, made his commercial debut in a 2015 Rag & Bone ad with Mikhail Baryshnikov. A fitting partner for Buck, being that he has been called the "Baryshnikov of jookin," a dance style that combines hip-hop and ballet for something you don't want to look away from. Seriously, just try to look away when he starts spinning on the toes of his sneaker. Not going to happen.
That move has become one of Buck's signatures, but as he told the Los Angeles Times, it took a lot of practice to make it his own.
While other people were doing "crazy things on their toes," they weren't able to stay up there for very long. This gave him something to work toward. "I wanted to be the one who stays on my toes longer than anybody!" he told the LA Times. "I would literally walk through the house on my toes all day, just to get used to that feeling, and build that strength. My toenails used to come off. It was crazy.”
Buck's moves have also caught the eye of Cirque du Soleil, which enlisted him for their Michael Jackson show One. He's also worked with Yo-Yo Ma, the New York City ballet, and Janelle Monáe on her video for "Tightrope." Madonna also picked him to perform with her at the 2012 Super Bowl, meaning this isn't Buck's first commercial nor is it his first Super Bowl.
Most recently, you may have seen Buck dances through the streets of Mexico City to the sounds of Marian Hill in a commercial for the new Apple Airpods wireless headphones. No cords means it's no problem for Buck to scale tall buildings in a single bound. No surprise, he looks good doing it — almost too good, since Buck's dancing makes it hard to care about whatever product he's selling.
This time around, Buck is defying gravity in this Lexus ad helmed by music video director Jonas Åkerlund, who directed this year's Super Bowl Halftime Show headliner Lady Gaga's video for "Paparazzi." As Buck glides alongside the 2017 Lexus LC 500 coupe, he manages to slide effortlessly into the car as the door closes after him. It's officially the only way I want to enter a vehicle from now on.
"Machines don't have emotions," the voiceover says. (Yes, that is Minnie Driver.) "But the rare few can inspire them." Sorry Lexus, but it's hard to imagine this car, no matter how luxurious it is, could ever have moves as smooth as Lil Buck. Seriously, how does he even do that with his feet?
With moves like his, though, Buck certainly fits Lexus' tagline: "Experience amazing." Clearly, we just did.