Video: Dancing priests fight it out in tap-dance battle

The video of Reverend David Rider and Reverend John Gibson has been viewed by over 600,000 Youtube users so far

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The Independent Online

Two American priests have become internet sensations after a video of them having a tap-dance battle went viral.

The video shows Reverend David Rider, 29, of New York and Reverend John Gibson, 28, from Milwaukee, displaying their tapping talents during a fundraiser at the North American College, an American seminary in Rome, near the Vatican in April this year.

The start of the video sees Rider get on top of a piano as a choir sings in front of him.

When the singing stops, Rider bursts into life, performing a fleet footed routine to the amazement of the audience.

He is then joined by Gibson, who stops Rider mid-flow to perform his own Irish influenced tap routine. This triggers a dance-off between the two men, with both priests trying to outdo each other in front of the stunned audience.

The video was recorded and uploaded by journalist Joan Lewis in April, and she says she has been amazed with how popular it has become.

She told the Associated Press: "All of a sudden the numbers started rising and rising."

Despite its viral success, the video, which at the last count had been viewed by 622,000 Youtube users, has not come without its share of criticism.

There have been a number of comments from religious internet users saying that the priests’ decision to dance under a crucifix and beneath the painting of Pope Francis was “disrespectful.”

Reacting to the criticism, Rider said: "We would just refer them to the Bible, where the Lord tells us to live with joy."

This is the second case of a video of a “Christian dance-off” going viral this month after a Spanish Mormon was captured having a breakdance battle with a Michael Jackson tribute act on the 9 October.   In the video, which has been viewed by over 3 million people, we see the man identified as Elder Gus Garcia, body-popping, b-boying and moonwalking against a dancing street performer on a busy road in Barcelona.