Ian Cole is known around the AHL for his hard hits and strong corner play. Now the world can see another side of him; his dance moves.
The Peoria Rivermen game operations team has added a new feature to the in-game experience with something you will not find in any other hockey arena: The Ian Cole Dance Cam.
The video that plays on the Carver Arena scoreboard features the Rivermen defenseman busting out his moves to the hit pop song “Gangnam Style,” made famous by hip-hop recording artist, PSY.
Sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? Fans have given it a warm embrace, in every sense of the word. Marissa Vicich of Decatur, Illinois recalls her first experience with the Ian Cole Dance Cam.
“I remember rolling my eyes because I was hearing Gangnam Style, but then I realized what was happening,” she said. “I turned to my sister-in-law next to me and literally all I could say was ‘Oh my God.’”
Marissa’s sister-in-law, Jamie, enjoys the Dance Cam as well, despite her dislike for Gangnam Style.“The Dance Cam is probably the one instance in which I do not mind [the song],” she said. “If they were just playing the song in the arena, it would definitely downgrade my overall experience. However, since I get to watch Ian Cole, and people in the crowd, doing the dance, it is a bit better.”
The clip of Cole’s infamous dance originates from training camp, when Rivermen beat writer Dave Eminian asked Cole to demonstrate the Gangnam dance during an interview. Cole, who Eminian describes as the “go-to guy for this sort of thing,” happily obliged and the camera crew was able to catch him in the act. The video debuted on December 2 during the third period of the Rivermen’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Texas Stars.
Like his fans, Cole remembers the instant that he saw what was playing on the scoreboard.
Cole was skating to the bench with defensive partner Brent Regner and found his teammates and coaching staff in disarray.
“I’m going back to the bench and usually guys are talking, coaches are talking to us and setting stuff up,” said Cole. “It was the first time that I ever came back to the bench and see that every single guy and both coaches are looking up at the scoreboard. Everyone was dying laughing.”
According to teammate Jaden Schwartz, this was not the first time that Cole has been caught twirling his hands to the rhythm.
“I know he likes that song,” he said after the Rivermen’s 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on December 15. “I’ve seen him do it on the golf course a couple of times.”
Fans, along with teammates, cannot get enough of Cole’s moves. The video has been shown at every home game since December 2, and Marissa Vicich admits that she even views the video at home.
“The YouTube video of it has become one of my go-to “cheer up” videos because I can’t help but laugh,” she said. “I have to say, Ian has some pretty sweet moves. [I am] definitely looking forward to seeing the Ian Cole Dance Cam at every Rivs game for the foreseeable future!”
The question remains: when the lockout is lifted in the NHL, will the Ian Cole Dance Cam make an appearance for the Rivermen’s big brother club, the St. Louis Blues?
With a grin on his face, Cole gave a candid response:
“I’ll have to wait for a less-hated song to dance to.”