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‘I got a cramp in my foot’: Officer racks up views, fans

August 20, 2018

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — When it comes to dancing and lip-syncing, Officer Flo Gregory Phillips is guilty — of stealing the show.

A 20-year veteran of the Winston-Salem Police Department, Phillips is the undisputed star in the department’s lip-sync video.

Throughout the viral video, Phillips showcased her dance skills and infectious energy alongside Cpl. Liam Whelan, even making a splash in the blooper reel with a random foot cramp.

“I was dancing so hard, oh my gosh, I got a cramp in my foot. (Whelan) is just dying laughing, he’s no help,” Phillips said as she recounted the filming moment.

“Now it’s a recurring joke. It’s funny. People just know this is Flo being Flo.”

Winston-Salem’s video — part of the national lip-sync challenge that dares law enforcement agencies to make a viral lip-sync video — racked 360,000 views on the city’s Facebook page in less than a day.

Phillips is featured in nearly every song in the six-minute video, which highlights officers at various locations around the city along with an eight-song medley.

Phillips, a hip-hop cycle instructor at the YMCA, curated the playlist, which she described as a mix of old school and new school.

“I’ve always loved dancing and music,” said Phillips, who attended N.C. A&T State University on a dance scholarship and also played in the university’s marching band. “In college, we called it ‘breaking it down.’ I would just drop my instrument and go for it.”

Phillips, who also teaches Zumba at three local YMCAs, makes her video debut with Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It ” where she and Whelan dance near a police cruiser.

“Liam loves to dance, too,” Phillips said. “We’re both just very down-to-earth people. There’s never a dull moment around either of us.”

But one of Phillips’ favorite scenes to film was at Krispy Kreme, which plays both on the running joke about police liking doughnuts and also highlights a business with Winston-Salem roots, she said.

“We were just shoving doughnuts in our mouth, pretending to be Lucy and Ethel (from ‘I Love Lucy’) shoving chocolate in their mouths on that assembly line,” Phillips said. “I don’t really care for doughnuts, but somehow I ended up with a mouthful of doughnuts and the whole thing was pretty epic.”

The video begins with police Chief Catrina Thompson lip-syncing to DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” and goes on to feature synchronized motorcycles, bike patrol officers and a “chase,” among other things.

The finale, filmed at BB&T Ballpark July 28, incorporated about 600 community members dancing to North Carolina rapper Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up.”

“We were all told to be ourselves and I think that’s what really made the video great,” Phillips said. “I think it’s cool for people to see us outside our careers as officers and realize we have lives outside of this and we like to let our hair down.”

One kid attempted to teach a group of police officers how to floss, a popular dance move among youth, Phillips said.

Her daughter, 15-year-old Asia, also helped teach her some “new-school moves.”

As for the lip-syncing part, Phillips is well-versed in singing and performing.

She was selected Monday to sing the national anthem for the Carolina Thunderbirds, the city’s hockey team, and has previously performed at other sporting events, including the Winston-Salem Dash.

“It was so exciting to film the video,” said Phillips, a school resource officer at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy. “When I first saw it, my eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning.”

Phillips said the video’s hundreds of thousands of views — a number that has far surpassed the city’s population — is overwhelming.

“I was at the gym today and people were looking at me, saying ‘Are you that cop on TV?’ and I’m like ‘Wow, somebody knows me,’” Phillips said. “I’m enjoying my 15 minutes of fame. It’s been lovely.”

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Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com

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