In 1983 actress Jennifer Beals danced her way into the hearts of millions of moviegoers in ‘Flashdance,’ playing a Pittsburgh woman who worked at a steel mill by day but dreamed of becoming a professional ballerina. The film was a box-office smash, and is fondly remembered today thanks to a handful of iconic dance scenes.
Fast-forward to the fall of last year, when Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Zach Banner re-created one of those iconic scenes for the team’s annual fashion show fundraiser. His performance [see immediately below] brought a smile to everyone’s face, and further enhanced his reputation as one of the most likeable Steelers players.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 11, 2019
Zach Banner Teases ‘HULK-ish’ Re-Creation
Fast-forward again, this time to July 4, 2020, when Banner—all 6-8 and 340 pounds of him—promised he would reprise his performance if his social media followers demanded it.
“If you want to see [‘Flashdance’] remastered, and executed in the most HULK-ish way possible… Get this tweet to 300+ retweets and I’ll have it done b4 camp.”
This tweet is not only to make you anxious and excited… But to also apply pressure on the producer of the piece…
If you want to see it remastered, and executed in the most HULK-ish way possible… Get this tweet to 300+ retweets and I’ll have it done b4 camp pic.twitter.com/07hiS9tHPX
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) July 4, 2020
Apparently, the tweet generated sufficient response, because on Friday, Banner posted a three-minute-plus clip to his Twitter account that shows him re-creating famous shots from the film—all accompanied by the title track to the movie, Irene Cara’s unfailingly uplifting “Flashdance … What a Feeling.”
Like many of the scenes from the movie, all of Banner’s segments were filmed in Pittsburgh, where he is getting ready for Steelers training camp, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday July 28.
In one particularly noteworthy scene from the video, Banner mimics the way Beals takes off her welder’s helmet, except, of course, he takes off his Pittsburgh Steelers helmet.
WHAT A FEELING! pic.twitter.com/lxOCVbGdtQ
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) July 24, 2020
The reaction to the video on social media was swift and almost uniformly positive. Even fans of other teams grudgingly expressed admiration for Banner’s efforts.
Baltimore Ravens Fans Approve?
A quick sampling of the critical acclaim reveals one Twitter user who said, “Dude – you just danced away all my quarantine blues.”
Another said, “Well, that’s about the most joyful thing I’ve seen on Twitter in 2020.”
Even fans of the Baltimore Ravens—Pittsburgh’s longtime arch rivals—appreciated Banner’s performance, with one writing, “Okay, I’m a huge Ravens fan … [but your video] has me considering going to the other side.”
If all this good feeling has you jonesing for an inspiring trip down memory lane, following is the final dance scene from ‘Flashdance.’
Zach Banner’s Future in Pittsburgh
Social media efforts aside, Banner is hoping to make himself a long-term fixture in Pittsburgh by making himself the long-term answer at the team’s right tackle position. He is expected to compete for that job with fellow offensive tackle Chuks Okorafor, with one of the two likely going on to serve as the team’s swing tackle. Banner signed a one-year $1.75 million contract during this past offseason, hoping that he can earn a much larger payday next spring.
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