The police officer standing in the corner of this dance routine video may not seem to play much of a role. He’s not there as a prop piece, however.
The “Policeman” routine begins with the sound of sirens, as Tylar Olsen rises to an upright position and a voice says “Policeman,” before defining the role of this important part of society.
The commentary further explains how police officers face many obstacles, challenges, and criticism daily in their line of work.
All the while, Tylar provides a beautiful interpretive dance to fit the piece. Watch as she tumbles and expresses movement to fit the words, ending with a final salute and touching honor to the officers who protect their communities.
Fox 13 News reports that the officer is Tylar’s uncle, Sergeant Kevin Norris, with the Orem, Utah Police Department. Norris explained, “The first couple times she did that I was emotional. She had tears in her eyes, and I might have been a little misty.”
With her dance routine this year, Tylar explained that she wanted to do a dance that meant something to her, with her mother, Andrea, offering the idea after finding a poem titled “Policeman.”
Andrea had explained: “A year ago, when all the police shootings were happening, it was really tough for our family,” adding, “It makes me so proud that he’s helping, but it’s also scary knowing that each time could be the last time I tell him I love him.”
Tylar first performed it at a competition, asking her uncle to come and watch, noting, “We hid it from my uncle, we didn’t want anyone to know.”
The response was very emotional, as she explained, “As soon as I came off the stage he was crying. So I just gave him a big hug.”
The performance evolved to include her uncle on stage, with the final bit of the poem noting, “And of course, he’ll have to be a genius…for he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.”
The dancer then runs into her uncle’s arms. Her mother was understandably proud of her daughter’s performance, noting, “I couldn’t have done that when I was fourteen. I wasn’t brave enough. She took something that is controversial and performed a dance to it and knew it could be loved or hated, praised or ridiculed, and she did it anyway.”
In part, the poem says: “If the policemen is neat, he is conceited; If he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s a flirt; If he’s not, he’s a grouch.”
The YouTube video description includes this beautiful tribute: “This dance is dedicated to my uncle, and to ALL the men and women in blue who strap on their duty belt, secure their bullet proof vests, and put their lives on the line each day to keep us safe. May you all return home safe. Keep walking the thin blue line.”
Those commenting on the YouTube video were understandably impressed, with one writing: “Tylar – thank you so much for this beautiful performance. Incredible and so powerful. Such an inspiration for my 4 daughters, who are dancers as well, and who love their father dearly for the job he does as a police officer. Thank you again for sharing your heartfelt interpretation!”