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Meet Roseville’s dancing man

Clifford Keys dances on the street corner to reduce joint pain
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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If you’ve ever driven down Douglas Boulevard, you’ve likely seen him, doing what’s become known as “The Clifford Shuffle.”

Clifford Keys, 59, rides his bike to the corner of Douglas Boulevard and Eureka Road, puts on his headphones, pulls out two tissues and dances to the music in an effort to alleviate his arthritis. He’s become a fan favorite for drivers stopped at the busy intersection.

Roseville resident Ted Boydston has often witnessed “The Clifford Shuffle,” but hasn’t been able to make contact with Keys.

“We would see him dancing on the corner, but usually we’re on our way to somewhere or coming home and it just was not handy to stop,” Boydston said. “I was curious as to why he was dancing. Seems like a character that lives and plays in Roseville.”

The Press Tribune caught up with Keys on a recent afternoon as he took a few minutes to rest from his dancing frenzy.

How often are you out here?

I come out here every day, I just live right down the street.

What kind of music do you listen to when you dance?

I listen to old school music on 101.1 F.M. I’ve been to a lot of concerts here in the summertime in Royer Park and they have all kinds of music. I like to fly with rock ‘n’ roll. Once I learned (to dance) — it’s been over 20 years — that’s the only thing I can do. With walking, I get burnt out. Too much bicycling, I get burnt out. No football, no basketball. I can’t play no sports.

At first, I was ashamed (to dance on the corner). But then right after that a whole family just came and gave me a walkman and batteries, and that’s encouraging. I either make a choice — let my arthritis cripple me (or dance). I can’t walk if I don’t keep moving.

How long have you lived in Roseville?

I’ve lived here about six months in the senior home down the street. I’m disabled. I have seven children. My only son lives in Antelope and he wanted me to get closer to him for an emergency. Other than that, I cook, clean, I can do everything.

I love Roseville, I mean it. It doesn’t matter what color (I am), people love me. I don’t have no bad thoughts about nobody, just good thoughts.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.