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The Real Left Shark Has Finally Come Forward and It Was All an Act

Dancer Brian Gaw, who gained fame during Katy Perry's Super Bowl halftime performance, now lists "Left Shark" on his CV.

by Lauren O'Neill
Feb 1 2018, 2:50pm

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Some people were born to greatness, though maybe not necessarily in the way they expected. Such is the case of a man named Brian Gaw. When he joined Katy Perry's dance ensemble years ago, little did he know he would rise to international superstardom, though only now are we learning his name.

For Brian Gaw is Left Shark.

The myth, the legend, the Left Shark. Born from Katy Perry's Super Bowl halftime show back in 2015, during which he impressed the internet with his less than orthodox choreography. Let's revisit that, shall we?

Bless you, Left Shark.

Anyway, now the man behind the enormous foam costume has come forward in an interview with NPR. Brian Gaw, who now works as a hair stylist after five years in Perry's ensemble (though still includes "Left Shark" on his résumé), says his goofy moves were a purposeful decision:

So there's a set choreography. There's also what's called free-style choreography, or, like, you get to move around or play your character as a dancer... I'm in a 7-foot blue shark costume. There's no cool in that. So what's the other option? Well, I'm gonna play a different character.


So basically Left Shark was performance art that all of us were too uncultured to understand, which makes sense. Often the greatest art is the sort that affects you emotionally, but that you lack the intellectual capacity to grasp: Left Shark is such art. Gaw describes his Left Shark "character," in NPR's words, as an "underdog," and maybe that is why he resonated with so many globally. Three years later, there is still a little bit of Left Shark in all of us. #ThankYouBrian.

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This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.