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You can’t blame one of the dancers on Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour for feeling like he has come home this weekend.
Here’s one hint: On Friday, hours before the concert, Kameron Saunders posted several photos of himself in an empty Arrowhead Stadium wearing a Kansas City Chiefs jersey with the name “Saunders” on the back.
The dancer and choreographer is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was chosen to dance on Swift’s tour late last year.
He waited to share the news on his Instagram account until after Swift’s first performance in March.
“I can finally announce that I am one of 15 dancers (the only plus size) on the Eras world tour with Taylor Swift,” he wrote. “I have been holding onto this since December when I got the call. We opened last night in Arizona and I am just overwhelmed by all the love messages and DMs.”
Then he explained why this weekend, when Swift performs two shows at Arrowhead Stadium, will be double-sweet.
“This is super special because just a month ago we were in this SAME stadium watching my brother win his second Super Bowl ring. God, I (will ALWAYS) say thank you!”
Saunders is the brother of Khalen Saunders, a defensive tackle who played in three Super Bowls with the Chiefs. He signed a contract with the New Orleans Saints after this year’s championship.
The brothers are originally from St. Louis.
“I initially found dance when I was young and my mother would bring me to a West African dance class she took,” Kameron Saunders told Voyage KC arts magazine last year.
“They would let me run around and watch. I was completely enamored by everything I saw. When I got to 6th grade my mother enrolled me in a performing arts middle school.
“At the same time, I was doing praise dance at my church. Once I got to high school, I naturally wanted to continue with dance and go to the performing arts high school that all of my friends would be attending, but my mother had other plans. She enrolled me in a high school that was super academia-focused, which I loved, but I loved to dance more.
“We had a huge fight and it was then that we found the Center of Creative Arts, or COCA, as a compromise for me to stay at that high school as she wanted and still be able to dance as I wanted.”
After graduating from high school, he attended Webster University for two years, then transferred to UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in 2014.
After UMKC he moved back to St. Louis, where he taught dance full time and freelanced as a choreographer. Then his brother’s new job with the Chiefs changed his life, too.
“In 2019, my brother was drafted as a player for the Kansas City Chiefs and I moved to New York City. I taught at some of the leading studios out there — Gibney, Broadway Dance Center, Peridance, etc.” Saunders told the magazine.
A recent gig had him spending six months as a dancer on the holiday movie “Spirited,” with Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer and Will Ferrell, he said. It is streaming on Apple TV+.
“It was the first time I ever had a gig like that and it left me feeling seen and valued as a dancer and artist,” he said.
Since he’s been dancing onstage with Swift, Swifites have showered him with glowing reviews. A couple of comments from his Instagram:
“I’m so happy I found your IG, you stole mine and my girl’s hearts this past weekend in Philly! Like we just talked about your performance and energy the whole way home, you are AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your fabulousness with so many of us!”
“So excited to see you in Denver!! If you hear someone screaming at you to dance for your life during Bejeweled, that’s me waiting on pins and needles for you to do your beautiful Death Drop and bring drag and gender expansive inspired performance to Taylor’s audience!!!!! Thank you so much for auditioning for this tour, for sharing your talent with the world, and for inspiring a new generation — NICE!”
Kameron Saunders sendo LENDÁRIO durante “Bejeweled”! pic.twitter.com/PT3RcVp8VC
— Taylor Swift Brasil (@taylorswiftbr) June 29, 2023
The UMKC Alumni Association gave him a hero’s welcome-home on Instagram, posting a clip of Saunders dancing with Swift and urging Swifites to look for him at the shows: “If you are seeing #TaylorSwift in KC this weekend keep an eye out for #umkcalum @kamnsaunders!!”