iN VIDEO: Vernon man dances instead of walking to bring joy to others | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN VIDEO: Vernon man dances instead of walking to bring joy to others

Vernon resident Shawn Vibert is known in the city for dancing through the streets.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Shawn Vibert

Anyone who has driven through or around Vernon is likely familiar with a man who dances down the streets, seemingly in his own world, engaged in his creative movements.

Shawn Vibert has been dancing like no one is watching for five years spreading joy and making people smile.

“It’s the pinnacle of joy for me to express myself and not care what others think,” he said. “People have many gifts to share but are held back by fear.”

Every day Vibert drives to a coffee shop and does some work for a technology company on his computer. Then he dances through the streets and parks of Vernon for three hours before heading to his work shift the Jim’s Pizza.

“It makes people smile, if they’re having a bad day, it’s about joy and it’s for everyone,” he said.

Some people smile at the joyful dancer while others will join in for a step or two. But some people phone the RCMP believing Vibert is having a mental health or drug problem.

“Because I do this boldly in public and give ‘er, they think I must be drunk and high or mental,” he said. “It happens regularly, I get stopped by security and police. I’m not harming anyone or myself, I’m professional, dressed nicely and good at what I do."

Recently, the RCMP stopped Vibert while he was dancing and asked him to do a happy birthday shoutout video for one of their staff members.

“I thought someone called the cops on me again, it was such a nice surprise.”

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Prior to dancing Vibert said he wasn’t in a good place in life, he wasn’t well mentally and didn’t have a healthy work-life balance.

“I wasn’t in a good state and went through really tough times, but then I became closer to God and could see how we’re all connected to everything,” he said. “When you go through tough things, you're given gifts and one of them was dancing.

“Dancing empowered me to have confidence and not worry about what other people think. I know God, I know myself and I love what I’m doing.”

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Vibert has had people say they want to join him in his dancing.

“No one has yet, but I’d love it if people would do that.”

Go here to see Viber’s documentary video about his life and his dancing.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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