‘Just so surreal’ – Oklahomans featured during Wednesday’s inauguration events


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – You may have noticed a few familiar places and faces during Wednesday’s inauguration events.

“Just kind of really luck of the draw I guess you could call it,” said Denny MedicineBird, the American Indian dancer on seen on the Skydance Bridge.

Looking back on Demi Lovato’s Wednesday evening performance, you’ll spot some of Oklahoma City’s beauty and heritage front and center for President Joe Biden’s Inauguration celebration.

“What was crazy is it panned to Joe Biden watching the video. So, he was watching it. That meant a lot to me. Just so surreal,” said Brandon Graves.

Graves, who is from Enid, was the dancer you see on top of the roof in Midtown overlooking the downtown Oklahoma City skyline.

He says he jumped at the opportunity, not knowing for sure his dance would be featured.

“Time passes and I’m not sure if it’s actually gonna be on there. I’m watching the video, the music comes on,” Graves said. “And all of a sudden I’m on there and I’m like ‘wow this is pretty crazy.’ It was pretty awesome.”

Other Oklahomans are seen at the basketball court downtown and even strolling through Heritage Hills.

Stephanie Peña, a national anthem vocalist and voice announcer, is also spotted during Lovato’s performance– singing along at the farmers market.

“Just so proud to represent Oklahoma. As you know Oklahoma’s rich, cultural history. I was so honored to show this is what Latino looks like. This is what Oklahoma looks like. This is what America looks like,” Peña said.

And just south of downtown, you can see American Indian dancer and National Guardsman Denny Medicinebird. 

“I’ve only danced to pow wow music. I kind of felt awkward and kind of funny but the camera crew and the producers, they did a great job at making it relevant to my spirit, to how I feel,” MedicineBird said.

MedicineBird says he was asked to dance by former Rep. Kendra Horn’s office, a memory he will cherish for a lifetime.

“Heritage and culture to me means I’m deeply rooted into it. I’ve grown up with it. I’ve been dancing since I could walk. And I’m just super proud to be able to showcase this on a national level,” MedicineBird said. “It’s a huge honor for me, my family, and hopefully all American Indians across the United States.”

The Oklahomans featured were asked to be a part of the performance about a week ago. They had to keep it a complete secret until Inauguration Day.


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