Donté Colley is only 22 years old, but he’s racked up over 800,000 followers on Instagram, with a global fanbase that includes some of the world’s top celebrities and personalities. Colley went viral at the end of 2018, when his New Year’s post was shared by Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones – making him an overnight internet sensation. A self-trained dancer, he has collaborated with huge names in eluding Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty label, Will Smith, Glossier and has even danced in an Ariana Grande video.
His posts are a combination of choreography and uplifting messages. Like the backdrop (usually his minimalist basement), the messages in his videos are simple – things like “Keep pushing” and “You got this.”
Often called a one-man show, the inspiring insta-dancer films, edits, and designs all graphics himself, typically using Adobe Premiere and After Effects. It’s no surprise to learn that the social media savvy twenty-something is currently a digital communications student at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto.
While he exudes lightness and positivity, Colley has seen his share of tragedy and loss, including the death of his father when he was a child, and the suicide of his older sister 4 years ago. This is no doubt a key driving force in his mission to combat mental illness with positivity and encouragement.
“We’re in a time where social media can be kind of tough, and we’re always comparing ourselves to one another,” said Colley on his Good Morning America appearance. “I never really expected it to have as much of an impact as it did. At the end of the day just making someone feel better is all I could ever really ask for.”
Donté Colley will join the inspiring Canadian Olympic Athlete Alysha Newman, as well as HGTV star Scott McGillivray in a panel hosted by CBC Toronto that looks at how talent and influence translate onto digital channels, and how Social Media can provide a platform to inspire and connect.