UWM student reflects on ‘crazy, amazing, exciting’ Super Bowl experience

After a few media interviews, Davien Holton is running out of adjectives to describe his experience performing at the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“It was crazy, amazing and exciting.”

Holton, a junior dance major, was one of the performers for the halftime show. (You can see him highlighted in a video clip from an interview on CBS58.)

And the audience was huge. The Super Bowl telecast averaged more than 123 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in television history. Even more people – 129 million – watched the halftime show.

Holton applied in December, sent in a video audition, and found out in January that he’d been selected to be one of the 300 on-field performers during a show headlined by Usher.

Holton had never been to Las Vegas. In fact, he said, “it was my first time ever at a football game.”

Seeing famous people at work

The  rehearsals before the event were especially exciting and fun, he added. “You could just see it all coming together.”

“People I’ve only seen on TV were just casually walking by or riding past in golf carts. They were just normal people going about their day. That was probably one of the highlights,” he said.

Holton grew up in Milwaukee, and decided when he was about 6 years old on his future career after enjoying dancing at his church, Greater New Birth Church. “My mom (Brandy Webb) saw I had a passion for it and really let me run with it.”
After attending the Milwaukee High School of the Arts, he headed to Arizona State University. But the pandemic led to a decision to return to Milwaukee. He applied and was accepted into UWM’s dance program.

A full schedule

Holton’s UWM friends and instructors describe him as energetic, and that word fits. In addition to his studies, he’s been a campus ambassador since his sophomore year, serves as a tour guide and also performs with the Milwaukee Bucks 414 Crew, the team’s hype team and dance ensemble. His siblings, he said, call him the “busybody” of the family. He has six brothers and two sisters.

The Bucks connection led him to another opportunity. This coming weekend (Feb. 17-18), he’ll be traveling to Indianapolis for the NBA All-Star weekend, where he’ll be a brand ambassador for New Era, a sports apparel and caps company.

Holton’s goal for the future is to set up his own artistic institution to encourage other young people like himself who want to learn how to navigate the arts industry. That’s one of the reasons he’s minoring in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies.

“I really love helping people with their brand and PR…to learn how to market themselves,” he said.

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