Dave Dabney: Dancing speaker guy

By Kirby Davis, The Miami Student

Everyone on campus has probably spotted a guy weaving through masses of other students, blasting music from his UE Boom speaker and unabashedly singing along. His name is Dave Dabney, but he’s better known as “the dancing speaker guy.”

This is not just for attention — Dave wants to inspire other people with this show of confidence.

“I want people to walk around like they deserve to be here,” he said. “Like, this is your playground!”

Dave buzzes with energy and doesn’t sit still. When he tells a story, he leaps out of his chair to reenact it, and he wears a t-shirt emblazoned with the New York City skyline. He’s never been, but that’s where he wants to end up—performing his own music at Madison Square Garden.

In Dave’s junior year of high school, a friend’s death jarred him and made him seriously contemplate his future for the first time.

“When you’re a kid you don’t expect people around you to die,” Dave said. “So when that hit me I was like, well, I don’t have that much time here, so what am I gonna do with my life?”

The answer, he discovered, was rap and free-styling.

Now a sophomore Interactive Media Studies major with a music composition minor, Dave is independently working on his own album. He likens it to Kanye West’s “College Dropout,” and sees himself on tour by the end of his junior year.

“I am a medium,” Dave said. “I go out and experience [things] and then I give that experience through lyrics and a whole new generation can experience it.”

He wants to help people conquer their comfort zones and not capitulate to societal norms. He believes that sharing his music—both original songs and those by the artists he idolizes like Kanye West and Chance the Rapper—is the best way to accomplish this.

“Imagine being born and you can only see through this one pair of glasses. What about taking those glasses off?” Dave said. “Everything I do is to inspire people to live the life that they are born to live and take off those glasses.”