Marcus and MJ Hill

By PAIGE HOLLOWAY
Rutherford County Schools

Marcus Hill never expected videos of him and his son, MJ, dancing while cooking would ever go viral.

When that happened, neither of them could have imagined they would be featured on the Todayshow. That happened too.

Hill, a special education instructor at Rockvale Middle School, described himself as full of energy and always looking for a good time. Because of his big personality and love of fun, Hill always looks for ways to bond with his son that are different, so every Sunday morning father and son wake up early to cook their wife and mother, Dr. Maryam Hill, breakfast in bed.

In doing so, the Hill men add some flare by dancing to music.

What was meant to be a special surprise on Valentines Day quickly turned into a weekly occurrence after MJ saw how happy it made his mother.

“[MJ] wanted to do this over and over and over again,” Marcus said. “He actually wanted to do this every day, but I told him no, we can’t do this every day, but we can pick one day which was Sunday.”

This newfound tradition of dancing while cooking breakfast was unknown to Marcus’ wife.

She heard the noise of pots and pans in the kitchen, so Marcus began recording these fun mornings to share with her.

“At first, she didn’t know what was going on in the kitchen,” Marcus said. “She could hear pots and pans, but she had no idea about the dancing and sliding and just how much fun we were having with it.”

It was not long after, his wife and close friends suggested he start sharing them on social media.

Hill first uploaded short “stories” to his INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT, which only allow viewers to have access for a 24-hour period. Soon after, he began receiving requests from several followers to upload the videos as a post to his page, so they would remain on his page.

“After that, it went crazy,” Marcus said. “People were sharing it and reposting it and that’s kind of how it got started.”

While he did not expect the kind of exposure he received, Marcus was more than glad to bring laughter to other people. Then he and MJ received offers to further share their videos.

“I started getting messages like ‘Hey, do you mind if we show your video’ or ‘is there a way you want to make money off your video,’ but I thought, that’s not the whole point,” Marcus said.” I’m not trying to make money. I’m just trying to have fun.”

One message in particular stood out.

He was a long-time follower of one of the editors of the Today show and received a message from him saying they would be interested in covering the attention his videos had been receiving. Marcus was told Alyssa Newcomb wanted to interview him for the show.

“I didn’t believe it,” Marcus said, “but then I got a call from [Newcomb] and she introduced herself and I just thought, ‘Woah this is real.’”

Marcus does not just limit this fun-loving to his home life, but he also attempts to incorporate it into his classroom at Rockvale Middle School.

He coaches basketball and football and teaches 7th grade special education and brings the same energy that can be seen in the videos to the classroom every day.

“You can ask anyone,” Marcus said. I always have energy. If I’m going to be at work, I’m going to have energy. If I’m going to be here, I want to have fun.”

He works with students and athletes daily to instill the tools they need for success and aims to make it as fun as possible for them. Marcus stays as high energy as he can because he recognizes that in his classroom. And his students feed off of the energy.

As much as Marcus loves to bring energy to Rockvale Middle and other groups of kids he works with, he especially loves being able to spend time and bond with his son, MJ, over their special Sunday morning dancing and cooking routine.

Being able to work with MJ is one part of what makes the videos so special

He does not plan to end the tradition any time soon.

“I love kids,” Marcus said. “I’ve been coaching for five or six years, and the fact that I’ve been working with so many other kids all my life, now it’s fun to be able to work and have fun with my own kid.”

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