While most of America watched the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens go head-to-head during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII, junior Brittney Schubert helped Beyoncé steal the show.
Schubert, who was a member of the St. Thomas dance team for two years, teaches at the Minnesota-based dance company Just for Kix. A costume company affiliated with Just for Kix was contracted for the halftime show, and Schubert’s boss asked if dancing positions were open to company instructors. Two dancers that originally made the cut were dropped, and Schubert was asked to help fill the void.
“It was such a unique experience, and I never thought that I would do something like it,” Schubert said.
Junior Brittney Schubert (right) poses backstage minutes before the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show. Schubert found the performance opportunity through Just For Kix, the dance company where she teaches. (Courtesy of Brittney Schubert)
Schubert said all of the supporting dancers met Beyoncé during rehearsal.
“It was surreal to see her right there, as a real person,” Schubert said. “She was jumping up and down, and she was just as excited as we were to be there.”
Just for Kix paid for its dancers’ expenses while in New Orleans. Schubert said the majority of the other dancers were from Louisiana.
A Forbes article showed this year’s Super Bowl generated more tweets than any other with 24.1 million messages, peaking during Beyoncé’s halftime show with 280,000 tweets per minute.
Junior Mary Shannon Bocock said she watched the Super Bowl mostly for the commercials and the halftime show. She said she was impressed with the performance, and she is proud of the St. Thomas tie to the third most-watched television event in history.
“It’s fun to hear about the big-time, impressive things St. Thomas students are doing, especially as a tour guide, so we can talk about how awesome our students are,” Bocock said.
Freshman David Anderson also watched the big game, and he said he was shocked to learn about the fellow Tommie performing in the show.
“That’s a really cool accomplishment,” Anderson said. “I wish that I would have known (prior to the show) … that must have been crazy.”
Nielsen Co. ratings reported 108.7 million people tuned in to the game, and the 34-minute “Blackout Bowl” did not deter viewers. About 106.6 million people kept the channel on during the power outage.
Schubert said the dancers were in a hotel across the street during the third quarter blackout, and it was difficult to understand what was going on.
“We could hear noise coming from across the street, and it was difficult to get communication on what was going on. For a while, people were afraid it might be a terrorist attack,” Schubert said.
Schubert said she could not imagine a better opportunity.
“It was just surreal,” Schubert said. “If I ever had a chance to do it again, I would absolutely say ‘yes.’”
Anastasia Straley can be reached at email@example.com.