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Pilot basketball fans rock with Quinn

Seven-year-old Pilot fan makes name for self flashing moves at basketball games

By Elizabeth Tertadian
On March 4, 2010

UP's been hit by a smooth criminal. Meet Quinn Hallinan. A first grader at Holy Redeemer Elementary who recently lost his front two teeth, Quinn is better known to UP students as "the kid who dances at the basketball games." At seven years old, Quinn can dance like Michael Jackson better than most and is becoming a star himself.

Dancing at Pilot basketball games

Quinn's dancing at the men's basketball games happened by pure chance. Amongst the music playing during half time, "Thriller" came on and a handful of Pilot fan eyes caught a glimpse of Quinn busting his moves under the far basket, which sent ripples of amazement though the stands.

"One time they were playing Michael Jackson and she told me to dance," said Quinn, pointing an accusatory finger at his mother, Mary Hallinan, athletic administration assistant.

His moves caught on quickly with the crowd. Amazed Pilot fans marveled at his skills, and sent Quinn roars of cheers and claps at the end of his performance. Noting his popularity, the marketing department later asked Quinn if he would dance at all the men's basketball games. Now he is included in every men's basketball home game script, although he attends both the men's and women's games.

Why Michael Jackson?

Quinn's fascination with Michael Jackson began just last summer when Jackson died. According to Mary, all the news coverage caught Quinn's attention, and he quickly became interested in Michael Jackson and his music. According to his mom, Quinn was most curious about what happened to Jackson's face.

"He figured out how to turn on the On Demand and watched Michael Jackson videos," Mary said. "Out of the blue, he started to dance."

Recently, Quinn's added a fedora to his basketball game attire which he took from the Jackson "Smooth Criminal" Halloween costume he wore this year.

"For Halloween, I was going to be Michael Jackson," he said. "Then all this happened, so Mom said to just wear it."

Quinn sported the "Smooth Criminal" jacket suit for Halloween complete with a fedora hat, although he really wanted to don the "Beat It" jacket. His favorite Jackson songs are "Billy Jean," "Jam," and "Smooth Criminal." Of all his dance moves, going up on his toes is his favorite. What does Quinn think about all the cheering he gets from UP fans at the games?

"It makes me happy," he said.

Making it on TV

Not just a dancer, Quinn is an avid basketball fan and player. He plays point guard on a Salvation Army basketball team.

"I'd rather play basketball," he said. "Dancing's not really that big."

Quinn's dance moves caught not only UP's attention and adoration, but also the eyes of ESPN, who broadcast a clip of him dancing during the men's home game against St. Mary's. Soon, students may see Quinn on TV in a public service announcement sponsored by the Blazers.

In partnership with the Salvation Army and Fred Meyer, the Blazers promoted a commercial about the Salvation Army featuring Quinn's basketball team. Shot in the Blazer's practice facility, the commericial gave Quinn the opportunity to hang out with Martell Webster as they produced the announcement.

"You might not see me because I'm in front," Quinn said.

In addition to being on TV and in commercials, Quinn has performed at his school's talent show. Yet while UP students and staff marvel at his skilled moves, Quinn's classmates are not as impressed.

Maybe because they are too young to know who Michael Jackson was or maybe because they are too busy playing at recess, his classmates don't ask him to dance. Regardless, Quinn dances for the fun of it. His family hopes to send him to Jefferson for high school, because they have a dance team that travels and performs at places such as the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall.

"I think it's great he has a talent, and he'll actually get out there and do it," Mary said. "Lots of people have talent but don't show it."

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