BY Ross von Metzke
September 24 2009 12:55 PM ET
How does a 19-year-old college sophomore with no dance training and no desire to be a performer wind up in his Calvins dancing in a Shakira tribute video that has been flagged as “inappropriate” by YouTube? Boredom? Curiosity? A slight exhibitionist streak?
Andrew Foster, who is majoring in violin performance at the University of Washington, wasn’t even a fan of Shakira when he coaxed his friends into replicating her much-discussed “She Wolf” video and posting it online. But after a few days of dancing, editing, building a wooden cage, and gyrating for the camera in a ripped-up leotard, he has become an Internet sensation -- like the “Single Ladies” tributes and the “Party in the USA” boys before him, “He Wolf” has been viewed by thousands of people, posted and reposted on sites ranging from Facebook to The Advocate to Manhunt.
Despite his work being deemed an adult video by YouTube -- “I’ve read through their policies on what constitutes inappropriate content, and I fail to see where my video violates their policy,” Foster says -- he got exactly what he wanted out of his experiment in music-video making: a good time with his friends.
Advocate.com: Were you inspired at all to make this after seeing some of the “Single Ladies” videos or any of the other artist tribute videos that have popped up recently?
Andrew Foster: Honestly, it just started out as something fun and creative to do with my friends. It didn’t come from anywhere -- I wasn’t inspired by anything I’d seen already.
Did you ever give any thought to doing another song, or was it always “She Wolf?”
It was definitely this one. After I saw it, I couldn’t really think of anything else of a while. I showed my friends, and they thought the video was ridiculous and disturbing and different than anything we’d ever seen before.
So are you a fan of Shakira, or is it more that you thought the video was so completely over-the-top, you had to do something?
More I just ran across the video and was sort of shocked and amused by it. I thought, I have to do a parody of it. I have to do my own version.