Meet Rayvonne Lewis, Del Ray's Dancing Busboy [VIDEO]
Teenager finds his groove dancing to dubstep.
If you’ve been out and about in Del Ray any time in the last year, chances are you’ve seen Rayvonne Lewis. The tall, skinny teenager is a regular in the heart of busy Mount Vernon Avenue, where he is often seen dancing by himself on the brick sidewalk near Holy Cow and Pork Barrel BBQ.
His music of choice is dubstep, an electronic genre defined by its wobble bass. Sometimes Lewis wears headphones so only he can hear the pulsating “wub.” Other times he unplugs his headphones so people on the street can hear the music.
But the tunes are secondary to Lewis, who has delighted neighborhood children and adults alike with his gangly, robotic moves—even if he’s only practicing.
“I like the fact that that when I’m moving to the beat I can get into it,” he says of dubstep. “There are so many moves and beats to flow with.”
Lewis was drawn to the dubstep sound two years ago and quickly began working on his dance moves. He cites Skrillex, edIT and Flux Pavillion as his go-to artists.
He keeps a straight face when he’s dancing, but insists it’s a blast of fun and talks about it with passion.
The 16-year-old Del Ray resident and a student at T.C. Williams High School’s satellite campus at Landmark Mall, which utilizes a non-traditional curriculum and individual attention from instructors. It also offers flexible scheduling so students can earn their degrees at an accelerated pace.
Lewis began dancing in front of Pork Barrel and Holy Cow about a year ago. “Mango” Mike Anderson, a co-owner of the restaurants, helped Lewis film a few video clips of his performances. They’ve since made their way onto the teenager’s own YouTube channel.
He was later offered a job as a busboy at the burger joint.
“Rayvonne’s a good kid and we were happy to offer him some part-time work on the weekends bussing tables,” said Bill Blackburn, another co-owner of the restaurants. “We do not pay him to dance but most of our customers seem to enjoy watching him. I think it gives the neighborhood a little character.”
Recently, a poster on a neighborhood listserv expressed some displeasure with Lewis’ “gyrating.” Believing he was paid by the restaurant to perform, the poster wrote that they did not want to see “sign spinners or robotic dancing” on Mount Vernon Avenue and that Lewis’ performance “cheapens the neighborhood.”
A multitude of posters subsequently came to Lewis’ defense, some with a full lather of Del Ray sarcasm.
The general sentiment was: “He is not harming anything or anyone. Please let him be.”
Lewis believes people enjoy watching him get down.
“They tell me to keep at it,” he says. “The kids love watching me do The Robot. I think it brings excitement to some people.”