First base coach with top-level moves

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 11:49 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - “Ladies and gentlemen, make some noise for our dancing first base coach! His name is Maceo!”

Now that you’ve met the now-viral Savannah Bananas Dancing first base coach, we can get to know the dancer responsible for the Bananas boogie.

“When I’m not here, I’m always dancing. I’m a dance instructor and choreographer,” Maceo Harrison said.

Harrison has been dancing as long as he can remember. He joked that he was born moonwalking.

“I self-taught myself how to do tumble and hip-hop, that was my given, but like, then when I got into the studio life I started dabbling into ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap; so, all that combined made me more versatile over the years,” Harrison said.

Versatile, he is.

However, no amount in the studio could prepare him for the challenge that came his way in 2018 to become the Savannah Bananas first base coach. Well, sort of.

A few innings a game, Harrison dances in the first base coach’s box providing some encouragement to the players, but he also choreographs all of the player dances.

“Some of them have three left feet. I’m not going to lie  but we make it do. We make do. It’s the hips mainly for me. I’m trying to work on the hips. I’m like, ‘you’ve got to move your hips, guys, come on now, y’all can’t be like this!’ But it’s always fun seeing them embrace it and actually open up to learning and wanting to learn,” Harrison said.

He says he usually teaches the dances within a half-an-hour span, which is impressive, considering the team is not full of trained dancers despite how it may appear.

“Nobody is expecting you to be like professionals at dancing, they know that y’all are baseball players,” Harrison said.

In between filming content, still fully costumed, pitcher Max Bergman - who is self-described as an introvert - explained how Harrison prepares him to bust a move in front of 4,000 fans.

“Maceo takes you over during BP and he does a really good job breaking down the movements to make them seem simple and easy, and it’s actually kind of awesome, because... most of us have been playing baseball since we were five, four years old. We’ve been playing baseball for fifteen years plus, each of us, and those movements kind of come naturally to us. While you’re doing something where the movements don’t come natural to, it definitely takes a lot more focus, and it’s fun to do, and it’s just different and it gets you out of your comfort zone, and it makes you think about something else,” Bergman said.

Like some of the players, Harrison has garnered some online fame. On a gameday, he gets asked for autographs and photos just like the other coaches and players.

He said growing up he was called “weird” sometimes for liking to dance, but he embraced his creative side making a career of it.

He says he takes time to talk to kids at games and lets them know whatever they’re into, whether it’s baseball, dancing or something else, is perfectly OK.

“It’s OK to be weird, you know? I learned that at a young age, so I wanted them to know that at a young age. It’s OK to be you. You only live life once. You’re only a kid once, you know? And that molds you into what kind of person you’re going to be as an adult,” Harrison said.

He comes in like a wrecking ball, ready to shatter whatever preconceived notions you may have of a baseball coach and leaves you laughing.

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