Matthew Greco is a dancer and student at the University of Minnesota, who went viral on TikTok.

University Of Minnesota’s Matthew Greco Is DanceTok’s Viral Fave

The college sophomore and national champion is spinning his way onto the FYP.

When Matthew Greco left for the 2024 UDA National Championships in January to compete with his college dance team in Orlando, Florida, he had no idea he would be coming home a big winner — and an even bigger TikTok star.

The University of Minnesota Dance Team as a whole became a viral sensation after a video of the group’s jazz routine — which included an impressively synchronized turn sequence set to Aerosmith’s “Dream On” — landed on the FYP.

I’m still trying to process all of the stuff that’s happened over the past two weeks at nationals.

Greco, an economics major and leadership minor, says his TikToks have since gotten *millions* of views. “I’m still trying to process all of the stuff that’s happened over the past two weeks at nationals,” he tells Elite Daily.

The first video of someone witnessing “dance history being made” by the U of M troupe now has more than 11 million views, but it’s not the only one making the rounds on TikTok. You can find a view from almost every angle in the crowd by searching the #MinnesotaDanceTeam, which has more than 137.8 million views, including one clip of just Greco’s solo turns.

That TikTok, captioned “Matthew Greco is my Roman Empire,” and other reaction videos are all over his timeline. “I love to see how people react to us, and what we make people feel when we’re dancing,” says Greco.

Nationals, which took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, happened just before spring semester started. When Greco and his teammates returned to campus following their second place win in jazz and first place in pom, they had no idea they were coming back as social media stars. “Normally, people don’t talk to you the first week of classes,” he says, but the college sophomore was stopped by a few classmates who recognized him from his viral videos.

Below, Greco shares how going viral has changed his social life on campus, what his current plans are after graduation, and his thoughts on a Netflix dance series.

Matthew Greco/Instagram

Elite Daily: What was going through your head when you first realized that your team was going viral on TikTok?

Matthew Greco: We couldn’t believe it. People were calling it the Dance Super Bowl, and there was all this hype around the competition from last year, but we never expected it to reach the level that it has.

We all went back to the hotel before pom finals, and were scrolling through TikTok. Next thing you know, we see ourselves over and over and over again. People were talking about us and other teams, like Ohio State and Michigan. It was this huge whirlwind of college dance being recognized as something much bigger than a competition for three days in Orlando, which was really cool.

ED: Have you seen all the talk of people wanting a college dance Netflix docuseries?

MG: Yeah, I have. I think that would be really cool. I’m not sure how the rest of the team would feel about it, or even our coaches, but there’s Cheer on Netflix, and that had a lot of traction.

It would be really interesting to show the other side of things, because I think people just see the glitz and the glam of dance. You see the final results of everything, but nobody sees the behind-the-scenes and months of work and effort that goes into it.

We do it all for that two minutes of glory on the floor.

ED: How soon does the team start preparing for competition season?

MG: Usually, it's about a four- to five-month process. We start learning our routines in September, when the fall semester picks up. This year was a little bit of a different process since we did choreograph our jazz routine ourselves, but we start practicing for this in September.

Once school ends towards mid-December, we have a little bit of a break, but then we have two practices a day for six hours when we come back, leading up to nationals. We do it all for that two minutes of glory on the floor. It’s quite a drawn out process, but it’s all worth it in the end.

ED: Your turn sequence in the jazz routine was so impressive that it has become a TikTok challenge. Have you seen those videos of people trying to recreate your moves?

MG: I have, and it’s really cool that we all get to share this universal love that we have for dance. It shouldn’t just be “Oh, Matthew” or “The University of Minnesota dance team is only able to do that.” I think it’s really cool to see other people try it and push themselves outside of their comfort zones.


I also get to interact with the people who are on TikTok and trying it, and I get to either hype them up or give feedback. It’s really cute to have that kind of back and forth communication with people, even if it is just a comment on social media.

It’s kind of a hard adjustment to go from being a dance celebrity down in Florida back to normal life.

ED: When you’re away, traveling for these competitions, how do you manage your schoolwork?

MG: Luckily for us, we don’t start school until literally the day that we fly back. It’s kind of a hard adjustment to go from being a dance celebrity down in Florida back to normal life and sitting in front of a computer for hours trying to focus on schoolwork, but we are fortunate enough to not have to be in school while nationals is happening.

ED: What was the reaction you got on campus since returning from nationals?

MG: It’s really funny. The first week back, everyone’s kind of nervous or apprehensive about their classes, so they’re shy, but I actually had people come up to me and be like, “Oh, my gosh. Are you on the dance team?” When I tell them yes, they’re like, “You’re amazing. You’re all over my For You page.”

It’s a really cool experience because the dance team doesn’t get the publicity or the appreciation that the football or basketball teams do, so being able to walk around campus and have people know who I am or know the dance team is a great feeling.

ED: Have you noticed that going viral on TikTok has changed the vibe of your social life on campus?

MG: I wouldn’t say it’s changed it super drastically. A few of my friends will come up to me and be like, “How does it feel being famous?” But we still treat each other the same way. The dance team just has a little bit more respect now, and I think that’s an awesome thing.

Matthew Greco/Instagram

ED: How did you and your teammates celebrate after the big win?

MG: Down in Florida, the parents rented two to three mansions where they all stayed throughout the whole week, so after finals day, we all went to one of the mansions to party.

One of the seniors always puts together a video for us that recaps the season. We went into the movie theater at the mansion and watched that.

ED: Walk me through a typical day in your life, leading up to nationals.

MG: I’ll wake up and go straight to dance. I usually like to shower before practice, just so it keeps my brain super attentive. I’ll usually mobile order coffee, and then I’ll text my teammates and figure out what time we’re walking over. We have to be there 30 minutes early, so if we start practice at 9 a.m., we’ll have to be there at 8:30 a.m.

Then, we usually practice for three hours. We have a break around noon. We’re allowed to do recovery in between with our athletic trainer, whether that’s getting your back cupped or doing the Normatec for your legs. Then, we’ll usually arrive back for practice, after we get food or have it catered to us.

After another three-hour practice, we’ll either hang out together or go back to our apartments and go to bed, relax, or watch a movie. It’s a pretty intense schedule when it comes to national season, but that’s when we make the most memories because we get to spend so much time together.

Matthew Greco/Instagram

ED: What are some of your tips for managing such a busy schedule?

MG: The biggest thing is just making sure you stay on top of schoolwork, because that’s one way to easily let yourself slip up. The fact that my schedule is so hectic doesn’t allow for me to procrastinate, so make sure that you’re scheduling things out properly.

Also, make sure you’re finding time to eat, and do all of the regular things that you need to do on top of being an athlete is super important.

ED: When did you know that you wanted to go to college, and how did you choose the University of Minnesota?

MG: My parents always wanted me to go to college, so the dance portion came later once I realized that you could do dance in college.

I decided I wanted to go to the University of Minnesota when one of my friends, who I danced with back in New Jersey at Studio L, went to the U of M when I was a freshman in high school. I was inspired seeing her on this team and kind of following along as they went to college nationals. I really wanted to be a part of the team.

I’m here living out my dream of being in the college realm of dance.

Once my junior year in high school rolled around, I went to a summer clinic at the University of Minnesota, and my friend had me stay at her apartment. It was a super welcoming and inclusive environment, and I immediately fell in love with the campus and the team. I knew that this was where I wanted to be. Then after that, I went through the whole recruitment process, and now, I’m here living out my dream of being in the college realm of dance.

ED: Do you want to be a professional dancer after you graduate?

MG: I’ve thought about going professional, but I’m not really sure if that’s the route that I want to take. The reason I’m majoring in economics is because I want to open my own dance studio — that would be my biggest career goal.

I’d also like to either coach a dance team or continue to do choreography somewhere, or even dance — if my body will allow me.

Matthew Greco/Instagram

ED: Are you involved in any other clubs or on-campus activities?

MG: Sadly, no. Practice is obviously mandatory because you are considered an athlete, so I couldn’t miss it for a club meeting. I wish I could be more involved in stuff, but at the same time, all the experiences and the opportunities that the dance team gives me are the same social benefits I would get from being in a club.

ED: It can be stressful as an athlete and student. What are some of your go-to self-care routines?

MG: For me, I usually just like my alone time. I love to be around people, but when it comes down to it and I need to just decompress for a moment, I’ll usually just try to sit down on my couch, watch a movie, and make myself a nice dinner. I’ll also try to shower, clean up my apartment, and make my bed — just kind of get my life back in order.

ED: What’s next for you?

MG: I’m going to try to continue to use my platform for spreading the awareness of dance, and get back to my normal daily life as much as I can. We have practices starting up again next week, so it’ll be nice to be back with the team and be able to post some stuff together. The next steps really are just finishing out this semester, and trying to keep my head on.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.