“Forever” is still in the cards for Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz, the Minnesota couple whose ebullient dance down the aisle to the tune of the Chris Brown song went viral a decade ago.
Heinz and Peterson revisited the internet phenomenon in honor of its 10th anniversary, and admitted that knowing 98 million people have seen their wedding march is still mind-boggling years later.
“It is amazing to think that it’s been seen all over the world that many times. Although, it will never stop being strange to me at the same time,” Peterson told Today. “It still feels like, when people found out the video and us, it’s this secret identity we have. People are so shocked by it.”
The five-minute-long clip was shot on a digital camera in June 2009, and eventually shared to YouTube a month later under the title “JK Wedding Entrance Dance.”
The infectious video shows members of the couple’s bridal party joyously dancing down the church aisle to the pop song, before Heinz and Peterson finally make their big entrance.
The clip quickly went viral, and was even spoofed on a 2009 episode of The Office in which beloved characters Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly finally tied the knot.
Peterson said the immediate aftermath and sudden fame was “very intense,” and despite offers like book deals, reality TV hosting gigs and opportunities to appear on shows like Dancing with the Stars, the couple made a conscious decision to shun the spotlight.
“We had this real vision point where we were like, do we want to keep going with this and ride this a little bit, or do we cut it off?” she told Today. “And we made the decision to cut it off.”
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Knowing all eyes were on them, the couple instead launched a website that urged people to donate to an organization fighting domestic violence. The website also offered fans updates on their lives, including the fact that they were watching The Office episode live when it aired, and had no idea it was going to happen.
“We still get messages here and there about how it brightened somebody’s day, or they tell us that it turns things around for them when they’re in a dark place,” Heinz said.
Since tying the knot, the couple has welcomed three children: Baron, 8, Calvin, 5, and Vivian, 2.
Heinz and Peterson confirmed that their kids have seen the video, though the children prefer The Office’s take on it, in particular, the moment when Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) accidentally knocks out a bridesmaid.
“When I think about that day, I don’t connect that day with the video,” Peterson said. “To me, I think of that day as very warm and intimate. And the video is kind of a separate, bizarre thing that happened.”