Madonna's epic 2012 Super Bowl halftime show proved to be a spectacular success, but one performer in particular wowed the audience and viewers at home. As Madonna danced to Hey Mr. DJ, a curly-haired Richard Simmons look-a-like dressed in a toga and gold sneakers bounced on what appeared to be a tightrope or wire.
What in the world was he doing?
The bouncing man or tightrope walker, as many at home may have called him, is actually Andy Lewis, a talented slackliner.
Also known as Sketchy Andy or SkAndy, Lewis' impressive acrobatic performance and dance did not take place on a tightrope, but rather on a 2-inch-wide trampoline, known as a slackline, that was strung between two posts on the stage.
Slacklining is the act of balancing along a narrow, flexible piece of webbing which is low to the ground and usually anchored between two trees, Gibbon Slacklines said in a statement. The Colorado-based company sponsored Lewis in the halftime show in the hopes that the sport will gain the attention of viewers across America.
It's very exciting, Ricardo Bottome, president of Canaima Outdoors, Gibbon's distributor for North and South America, told Boulder-based newspaper The Daily Camera. It's a big day for slacklining.
While tightrope walking has existed for thousands of years, slacklining is a modern invention. It was first started in the early 1980s by two rock climbers, Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington, who began walking on chains and cables in parking lots and urban areas.
It's not just for epic performances, but rather something anyone can do in their own backyard. Originating in the climbing world, slacklining has evolved into a cross trainer, family activity and sport all its own, Gibbon Slacklines claimed.
According to 2012 Super Bowl halftime show performer Lewis, slacklining is easier than it looks.
Learning how to dance with Madonna and her dancers is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Using a Gibbon slackline is simple by comparison, Lewis said in a statement
Slacklining has become popularized as an extreme sport in urban areas, in cliffs and over water, and as a trick-sport. The longest slackline in history was over 1,000 feet long and walked by Damian Jorren in 2010. The highest slackline recorded was over 3,000 feet high and waled by Christian Schou in 2006 in Norway.
Watch slackliner Andy Lewis perform at the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show and elsewhere:
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