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Dancing priest goes viral on TikTok with videos for kids

J-P Mauro - published on 04/24/20

Padre Jose uses his "God given talents" to entertain his students in social isolation.

A priest from Michiana, Indiana, has exploded in popularity on the social media platform TikTok, with charming videos that feature talented physical feats, funny little dances, and educational songs geared towards younger kids.

Padre Jose Emmanuel Arroyo-Acevedo, a teaching priest from St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church and school, was only ordained last year, but he’s using his youthful exuberance and exceptional physicality to produce short videos on TikTok. The effort, meant to keep his students engaged during the time of social isolation, has drawn the notice of many other TikTok users, leading him to amass over 12,000 followers.

In an interview with ABC57, Padre Jose explained that the idea arose when a parent parishioner noted that the kids were in desperate need of wholesome entertainment. The young priest took it upon himself to start a TikTok account, @padrejoseemmanuel, where he utilized his considerable charismatic appeal to produce short cute videos. He said:

“Oh my goodness it did not take long to realize there are inappropriate things for our youth out there and I want to make a difference” says Arroyo-Acevedo “Talking and doing videos, sharing my talents, my God-given talents with everyone—I love it! The backflips, the dancing, the stair shuffle, all of it.”

Padre Jose has made a bunch of videos already, geared towards children of all age groups. For the youngest students, he makes short silly songs which teach about the Holy Family, but for the older students he draws on his light-footed dance steps, playing foot patty-cake with another fellow priest, and dancing up a flight of stairs so smoothly he looks like he’s flying.

He said that he plans to keep the videos coming, especially while the kids are stuck in self-imposed quarantine, noting that it is important to remind the younger generation that we can all still have fun when times are bleak:

“Everyone has joys and sorrows and we just cannot pile up sorrow upon sorrow just belly aching about the difficulties we’re facing, but realize we can have fun!”

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