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Indianapolis mourns loss of 38th & College's 'Dancing Man'

James Snow brought smiles to commuters for decades with his nonstop dancing at the intersection of 38th and College.
Posted at 1:08 PM, Oct 05, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — James Snow, best known as the "Dancing Man" at a popular north side intersection, died at 77 on Monday, Sept. 28.

For decades, Snow brought smiles and positivity to commuters with his non-stop dancing at the intersection of 38th Street and College Avenue. Drivers and passersby could often catch him right outside of Rally's, Jackson Hewitt or even the Family Dollar.

One north side resident who passed him almost every day and was a family friend, Darlene Trice, says Snow was an "Indianapolis icon," and his "ever-smiling face" will be missed.

"I'm just devastated. I was very fond of James. I spoke to him on a regular basis," Trice said. "He never asked for anything."


Snow has had several other nicknames besides Dancing Man over the last 45 years, like "Radio Man," "Radio," and even "Guitar Man."
He never asked for any compensation and only wished to spread love through kindness, dancing, and music.

"People often have unkind words to share about certain parts of the city. And I guess, for me, I have an appreciation for people who take the other route. People who take the effort to spread beauty and love wherever they are," Elizabeth Prout, another person who Snow impacted, said.

"He fed folks' spirits. Every time you would pass him by, he would smile, and he persevered," Prout said. "You would think, 'wow, he's still out there and doing his thing,' and be thankful for that."

As soon as Prout, 37, found out of Snow's passing, she wanted to find a way for the community to come together in celebration of his life.

On Sunday, she and a few other folks came together at the intersection of 38th and College and literally danced in the rain.


"Like many people, he brought me joy. He can't be replaced; what he did was really special," Prout said. "I wanted to give people an opportunity
to show their appreciation for what he did."

Both Prout and Trice want to give people another chance to honor Snow and plan to put on another gathering. They will post on their Facebook event page when the second celebration of life for Snow is.

Snow's graveside service will be at Flanner Buchanan Washington Park North on Friday at 1 p.m.