You've likely seen them on the sidelines: the Mavs ManiAACs, an all-male dance troupe that brings some serious fun to cheering on the Dallas Mavericks.
They had a new member join the crew for a home game last week who overcame physical limitations to show that anyone can dance, showing how Texas Connects Us through the drive to follow our dreams.
They earned the name for a reason. The dancing Mavs ManiAACs always make an entrance, and on a recent night at the American Airlines Center, there was a new star on the squad.
"Feeling really good! Loving every minute of it!" said Dylan Rafaty.
Rafaty is deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other. He's also had multiple spinal fusion surgeries for scoliosis. But he never slows down.
He auditioned for the ManiAACs and impressed them with his moves.
“He inspired me from sending me a message on Facebook as the captain of the ManiAACs,” said Captain Big Rob. “He wanted to know about auditions and he mentioned to me about some of his limitations and things that he could do and he couldn’t do and he asked me could he still audition and I said 'man, of course. Come out and give it a shot!'”
But the competition was fierce. Rafaty didn't quite make the cut, though he did make a mark.
"His official ManiAAC name is Raf Daddy!" Big Rob said, introducing him to the rest of the group.
Rafaty earned the chance to be the first ever honorary Mavs ManiAAC. From some backstage magic, to pumping up the team and finally stepping in the arena, Rafaty got the true ManiAACs treatment.
"Love every minute of this experience," he said.
He picked up a few new dance moves and got to show them off to a crowd of thousands on the big screen. But for Rafaty, this moment in the spotlight is bringing attention to something bigger.
"I hope that every person with a disability, anybody can strive to become whatever they want to be and to be able to do this for a game is unbelievable," Rafaty said, showing that a dream can take any shape, what matters is to chase it.