Business is booming for dancing construction worker who went viral
Tony Restivo was recorded dancing to the hit song "Into You" by Ariana Grande at a construction site in a viral video.
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Tuesday, November 27, 2018 9:44AM EST
Two years after a sensational video of Tony Restivo shaking his hips to a tune by Ariana Grande while he was on a construction site went viral, the Toronto-area tile setter says business is booming and he’s still receiving plenty of dancing requests.
Tony’s wife Sandy uploaded the short clip of him busting a move to Grande’s “Into You” to her Facebook page in January 2017. In the video, Tony can be seen enthusiastically thrusting his pelvis and throwing out an occasional high kick before he notices his coworker filming him.
Sandy said she intended to just make their friends and family laugh when she posted the video, but it soon took on a life of its own and started circulating the internet, attracting millions of views.
Even Grande herself shared the clip with her 94 million followers on Instagram. Her post has received more than 4.6 million views since she first uploaded it.
“We weren’t expecting it,” Sandy recalled during a telephone interview on Monday. “It was 15 minutes of fame. It was overwhelming.”
“When I look back two years ago and I look at that video, I still can’t believe that was me and that happened,” Tony added.
The couple said they were inundated with non-stop calls from media outlets and friends and family for weeks after the video was shared.
“It was pretty awesome, but at the same time, I’m happy it ended because it took over our lives. I had to shut off my phone to go to sleep,” Sandy said.
The Restivos said they even had a Skype interview with the producers of The Ellen Show, but unfortunately, they said they never received a follow-up invitation to be guests on the popular daytime show.
Despite that disappointment, the couple said there has been a “bonus” to the whole experience. Tony’s tile setting company “Tony Tiles” has been thriving.
“My business grew about 40 per cent,” he said. “It’s amazing. That little thing, it was huge for that.”
Sandy was also quick to point out that a lot of the new customers happen to be females who appear to be interested in more than Tony’s tile-setting capabilities.
“He’ll call me on his lunch break and he’ll be like ‘She asked me to dance again.’ It’s kind of cool and then it’s kind of like ‘Ok. Here comes another woman trying to hit on him again,” she said with a laugh.
Although life has returned to normal for the couple, Tony said he still gets recognized on the street or in the occasional Tim Hortons.
“People still acknowledge me and say ‘You made me laugh. When I’m down I watch that video and I smile’ and for me that’s the most important thing,” he said.
When asked if he’s still shaking his now-famous hips before the cameras, Tony admitted he can’t help himself.
“I’m always doing my thing. That’s just the way I am. I’ve always been like that,” he said. “I’m never going to change.”