Dremon Cooper, 19, never thought that in a few days’ time, his videos would attract worldwide attention. Before Dremon went viral, he didn’t have Twitter and barely used Facebook. He used Instagram as a way to hone his comedic skills, something he was inspired to do after about learning about a popular social star, TaeDaTea.
But this all changed when Dremon put on his pink boots and flipped into the hearts of people all over the corners of the internet. While it’s impossible to truly tally the views on a viral video, we do know that his clip has been viewed at least 413,000 times on Instagram and over 7 million times on Twitter.
“Folks always told me I was funny,” Dremon said in a phone interview. “I simply wanted to use my talents to make videos, but I never thought that one of my videos would have taken off the way that it did.”
Dremon, who grew up in the southeast Washington, D.C. area (hence the screen name @Hesosoutheast) says that much of what you see in his videos with the pink boots is, in fact, self-taught. “I have always been athletic,” he said, sharing that his favorite superheroes are just as agile. “Growing up, I used to love Spider-Man and Catwoman. So I just began to emulate them by climbing up the walls and doing flips. And no, I don’t have any formal training.”
But as you can see in the video, there is more to Dremon than just acrobatics. Not only does he have the ability to do a massive kick-flip in high heels, but he’s able to design the very boots he wears while performing. “I went to a Duke Ellington School of the Arts,” he said. “I first started off drawing, then I learned how to design. Mostly everything I know about fashion came from school.”
Naturally, a lot of what you see in his videos are inspired by the love he has for the ballroom scene. “The first person I ever saw vogue was Kassandra,” he says. “They inspired me to become Destiny West. Them getting the crowd hype, and the passion they had to be themselves, it really inspired me to want to join a house. I first joined Balmain, then I joined Khan, but now I am in the House of West.”
Dremon says his mother, who sat next to him during most of the phone interview, couldn’t be more proud of the newfound visibility her son has. “I came out to my mother at the age of 12 and she let me be myself,” Dremon said. “She’s always let me do the things I wanted to and she truly always let me be me. I really appreciate her for that.”
Though all of the viral attention and support from his followers is something that he has dreamed about, he noted that a lot of it is overwhelming. “A few days ago I was only at 9,000 followers on Instagram. Then I posted the videos and it just took off,” he shared. “Within a day I was close to 60,000 followers. People were calling me ‘Him Possible’ and ‘Ninja Minaj.’ It’s a lot to take in, but I am overwhelmed with joy.”
As with anything on social media, the good also comes with its fair share of trolls. “I have gotten some nasty feedback on my videos,” Dremon shared. “I have learned to just have fun with it for as long as I can. I have to stay humble and forget the haters. Positivity can take you really far.”
With all of the newfound attention, Dremon truly believes that the virality is a precursor to what type of year he’s going to have. “Going into the new year, I want to network. I want to stack my money up, focus on building my comedy, and meet new people,” he said. “If the comedy doesn’t work out, I want to pursue an arts degree at an arts college.”
And finally, even though his videos were made in jest, it seems there’s a kernel of truth to the kind of advice he disposes right before his kick-flips: “Let them know-they can always get the combo!” he says. Talk about a New Year’s mood.