Thanks to the Post Gazette for confirming a question I posed about a month and a half ago. That question? Is Rashard Mendenhall a good dancer?
The video that brought me to this question is above. Mendenhall's name was attached to a sweet dance routine set to some Michael Jackson tracks. There were no closeups, so we had to take the video filename's word for it. But today, the PG confirms that Rashard has been killing it at the Bella School of Dance ever since his 2008 season ended with injury.
"Mendenhall, last year's No. 1 pick, began taking a hip-hop dance class last season after a season-ending shoulder injury and eventually took part in a dance performance before about 1,000 people, including some of his teammates, at Chartiers Valley Intermediate School.
He said the dancing helped with his conditioning and he "definitely" is in better shape than he was last year when he came to training camp. Mendenhall said he is more cut and has added more muscle since last season.
"It's a lot different," he said. "It's tough to be able to move like that for a period of time. You get a newfound respect going through that."
Mendenhall began taking the classes at the Bella School of Dance in Wexford shortly after his injury -- a broken scapula Sept. 29 when he was hit by Baltimore's Ray Lewis -- began to feel better."
The only other confirmation I had was in the comments section from people claiming to have been at the routine, or people saying they were actually a part of the dance. Some examples (all sic'd):
Ce Ce - "That is definitely Rashard and I was at the show that Vella did and he was great"
Rachel Reid - "I know for a fact, that's Rashard. I was in the dance. "
mariel - "i'm in the class too. it's definately rashard and he is an amazinggggg dancer!
and so nice too. he joined us after he got hurt so he had something to do. be
prepared for more! that was only half of the awesome things he does. =)"
But there were doubters:
ChrisFAbbott - "I'm not sure about that being Mendenhall. Vella Dance is located in Bridgeville, PA and assuming this is supposed to be Rashard in his younger years, he went to Highschool/College in Illonois...If this is supposed to be recent, I doubt Rashard is taking Dance classes and performing during the off season. We'd hear more about that anyway.
The guy looks to tall/thin anyway."
ChrisFAbbott was so wrong. You better believe you're getting put on blast for that!
One last point of note...MJ died just days after Rashard's performance of his hits. Looks like someone was a bit jealous of Beetlejuice's moves.