MISSOULA - With the news of the passing of Dancing Guy, many people took to social media to share their memories.
Dancing Guy, whose real name was Ronald Kephart, could reliably be found dancing exuberantly at live music events around the Missoula area.
As the years went on, he was often joined by his wife, and together the two made a big impression on many people's lives.
The Missoula County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Kephart died at age 77 on Wednesday. He had been dancing at Out To Lunch in Caras Park when he collapsed.
Here are some highlights from our interviews downtown and social media:
Holly Bitz: "He had some great moves and I know he was well loved by the community and was always out and about performing for us."
Judy Sylvest: "He'll be missed in Missoula because he was such a fixture you know especially during the summertime so he'll be missed."
Luke Smith: "They make it so people can just loosen up at shows and have a good time, and they've been around for a while. So everybody is going to have to dance more to keep their spirit going now that they are not around."
Bobby: "First time I can remember the dancing guy was Sophmore year of Highschool(99-2000)...It was hilarious! That’s at least almost 20yrs of 'Casting and reeling' those astral fish. I remember when it was just him. Then he found his obvious soul mate. R.I.P."
Robin: "Dance on in the cosmos, dancing guy."
Charmaine: "I still remember the first time I saw the dancing couple as a young kid. It was at the fireworks show at the mall and I was just as intrigued watching those two dance as I was with the fireworks. So sad to hear of his passing ."
Rene: "He was the epitome of not letting others define you. I'll miss seeing you man."
Jessica: "This is such sad news! RIP he will be greatly missed! Sending all our love and condolences to his family and friends!"
Bud Gee: "So sorry to hear this, I spoke with him when I worked in the mall a couple times he was really friendly, full of energy and happy."
Ednor: "RIP, Dancing Guy. Condolences to Dancing Girl. You were both a vibrant part of Missoula's true character."
Tyson Ballew: "In Missoula there was a couple of people who would show up to events at Caras Park and swing their arms and legs around in 360 degree gestures. It was some sort of attempt to interpret the music the bands were playing(I always guessed). One time when local hardcore band Ass-End Offend played the dancers grabbed their ears and danced as if their souls were in great pain to the music. It was always weird and nice to see them and eventually they sort of just blurred into the background of the event. Today at an event at Caras Park the Dancing Man suffered a heart attack and later passed away. There's some intense poetry that the last thing he did alive was attend a public event and dance but mostly I am sad that someone so unique and distinctly Missoula passed away today. If there are any articles about him please send them my way. Thank you."
Gina: "Sad for his lady companion. It’s hard to be weird and even harder to find your perfect weirdo match. That’s a relationship to strive for."
Megan: "I remember when I was 8 or 9 I asked them what their inspiration was for their dance moves and he said if they told me, the FBI would have to kill me . Very sad to hear of his passing "
A local photographer also shared an online album of Dancing Guy photos.