Shaker boarders, also known as sign dancers are individuals hired by companies to draw passing traffic out from the street into the business. They are typically seen at busy intersections and other high traffic areas using a sign and attention grabbing skills to direct people to stop by for a car wash, food or other special promotion.
They are also commonly spotted at grand openings and during tax time, often dawning a Statue of Liberty robe or other wild costume.
It’s hard not to take notice of someone jumping around with tremendous energy, often in a silly, suffocating costume. While these shaker boarders (as they’re called) are used for grabbing attention of perspective customers, they have also made their way into the competitive dance arena as of late.
One of the shaker board pro’s to grace the world dance stage is Rock Hill, South Carolina’s own Justin White. First garnering attention for his high energy dance moves White says he later learned to incorporate the Shaker board sign the North Cherry Road Little Caesars but He was employed. White, now 22, started off putting together pizza boxes inside to earn extra money while a student at York Technical College. While coworkers boasted of his speed in the kitchen, it was his ability to move and groove with the shaker board that got them bragging.
Rock Hill’s own, Justin White.
White competed in dance competitions since he was a child, winning titles in North and South Carolina. He dreams of becoming a professional dancer of choreographer for the likes of Usher or Chris Brown someday. While White is confident in his abilities as a dancer, he admitted to having to get used to moving with the sign, and needing to practice a lot in order to master his technique. Clearly this has paid off, as he has become well known in the area for intricately moving then freezing the board with smooth precision and style, all while driving traffic into the restaurant he represents.
After practicing for several months and submitting a video of himself dancing, he found himself on the way to Las Vegas to compete in the national championships, along with the chance of winning the title and being named the best in the Little Caesars world. With a repertoire of classical dance mixed with hip-hop, Michael Jackson moves and more, he headed off to Las Vegas in 2015 accompanied by his father, in hopes of brining home the title.
While he may not have ultimately won, his skills and enthusiasm for what he does continue to inspire other shaker boarders, dancers and dreamers everywhere.
Another popular shaker boarder actually sterilizes dental equipment at a health center during the week while spinning signs on weekends. Ben Kester sought to follow in his twin brothers footsteps, who after winning the title three years in a row was retired into the Hall of Fame, banning him from future competition and thereby opening the doors for the next crop of title holders.
Justin Kester, shaker board Hall of Famer!
Kester danced his way to second and third place finishes at the Vegas national finals then had to bow out due to a shoulder injury from baseball. While recuperating he only pick up a sign to volunteer once a year to help the local Girl Scout troupe sell cookies.
Kester explained that there is a difference between being a good sign dancer. He was quoted as saying, “There are better dancers than me, but they don’t have control over the board.” Kester is successful at what he does because he does more just perform catchy dance steps, rather, he strategically drives attention to the business by being able to freeze the sign in the blink of an eye when passersby get within range, allowing them to be able to digest the information and be directed into the business.
This North Carolina shaker is so infamous that he is known as “The Little Caesars Legend,” and has his own personal announcer/comedian in Radio DJ The Popular Stranger!
Judges at the Vegas competition judge contestants based on who they would want doing advertising for their own restaurants, and she’s a select few shikhar borders to travel to Vegas from all their locations worldwide. The Submission videos are kept private to prevent competitors from stealing each others moves.
Let’s take a look at some the memorable shaker borders in their dances.
This 2008 contender shakes it in the snow!