Things You Didn't Know About Big Will Simmons

Disney's Mickey Mouse Club is back, albeit rebranded for the digital age. Now called Club Mickey Mouse, the show that famously kickstarted the careers of Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake has a whole new cast and a whole new look. But don't look for the new Mouseketeers on your TV, because the show is only appearing on social media, a factor that obviously played a large part in casting the new crew, all of whom have built impressive followings via Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube.

One of the new stars is 17-year-old "Big" Will Simmons, a dancer whose nickname is clearly ironic, since he once told a fan on his page that he's only five feet tall. Anyway, Simmons claims he's been performing professionally since he was 8 years old, which means he's already a seasoned pro on both the dance floor and the internet, and yet thanks to Disney, he just got his big break. Here's what you need to know about "Big" Will Simmons.

He's a professional dancer

As we just mentioned, Simmons is barely old enough to drive, yet he's got almost a decade of professional dancing experience under his belt. In an interview with ABC News, Simmons said it was actually his sister's interest in dance that got his career going. "I started dancing when I was around 5, because of my sister, you know, she had problems with her foot, and she had to get into dancing." Simmons says he quickly got tired of just "dancing on the sidelines" and knew he "had to go on stage." From there, he got an agent and has worked steadily ever since.

One of his highest profile gigs was dancing in the video for the song "Never Catch Me" by Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar. According to Billboard, the video won a VMA and Simmons even went on to perform live with the artists at Coachella. "This is a song about how death is not the end," Simmons said, adding, "Most people that watch the video says it made them cry, and is a piece of art that never gets old. The video made them appreciate the thought of what could happen in the afterlife."

He wants to be an actor

Simmons also has aspirations beyond the dance floor, namely to be on the silver screen. In an interview with Teen Weekly Insider, the new Mouseketeer said, "I am very passionate about acting. I aspire to be the next Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman or Will Smith. I have booked acting jobs and even a movie. I love being able to transform during a scene and become someone completely different."

Indeed, Simmons' IMDb page boasts a fledgling acting career centered on mostly kid-friendly projects, but he also earned positive reviews for his slightly grittier work in Mike Posner's music video for "Be As You Are." The Detroit Metro Times even who wrote that Simmons "shines as the video's protagonist." Again from his Teen Weekly Insider interview, Simmons said, "Acting is very different than dance. Your words and body language have to be in sync to effectively convey a character." So while he may be donning Mickey ears for now, watch out, because this kid's got range as well as big aspirations.

Being on Disney was always his dream

In an interview on Oh My Disney, Simmons said that becoming a member of Club Mickey Mouse is the realization of a childhood dream. He said he grew up watching That's So Raven, The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and Hannah Montana. "My dream as an actor was to always have my own show on The Disney Channel, and the older I got the more I thought that wasn't going to happen. And this is proof, right here, that you should never, ever give up on your dreams," Simmons said. What a great message, right? And honestly, so long as he never ends up half-naked at the VMAs, wagging a foam finger at Robin Thicke, we're completely on board!

He considers his greatest accomplishment to be performing in the Super Bowl

Everyone remembers how the kid dancers backing up Missy Elliot were the big viral moment of Katy Perry's Super Bowl XLIX Halftime show, right? Okay, admittedly, Left Shark is basically the only thing anyone remembers about that, but it was still a big moment for Simmons, who considers his performance alongside the "Get Ur Freak On" rapper to be his greatest accomplishment.

In an interview with Teen Weekly Insider, Simmons spoke of his big night on one of the world's most watched stages. "My friends and I were the first and only kids to ever perform for Super Bowl. It was a long, hard two weeks of rehearsals and I had to learn a flip that everyone could do but me. If I didn't learn it, I couldn't be in the performance. So I took gymnastics privates almost everyday for two weeks and my body was killing me. But I learned the flip!" he said. Left Shark did zero flips, just saying.

He has weird pre-performance rituals

In a Q&A session on his YouTube page, Simmons opened up about his pre-show prep. One of his warm-up rituals is completely normal; he does a series of limb stretches, which admittedly look a lot like extended Harlem Shakes while counting up to ten, then back down to one again. The other ritual? Not so normal. "If I'm about to perform on stage, I just don't go pee," Simmons said, adding, "Everybody backstage is like, 'Oh, I have to go pee, I have to go pee!' and all that stuff. I'm the one that's like 'I have to hold it,' because I actually do better on stage if I don't pee, which is really weird." Yep, yes it is, 100 percent agree.

He knows how to read, write, and speak Japanese

Simmons is such a huge fan of anime, he actually learned to read, write, and speak Japanese, according to his profile on Oh My Disney. In the interview, he says he hopes to one day go to Japan, then speaks in what sounds like fluent Japanese, and flashes his signature hand symbol, a heart made out of his contorted fingers. On top of that, in his Q&A session on his YouTube page, Simmons answers the fan question "What is the 50th pic on your phone," by scrolling through only to find a screenshot of a Dragon Ball Z character.

He does charity work

It's not all music videos, Super Bowl performances, and Disney superstardom for "Big" Will Simmons. He also stays grounded by giving back to charitable causes. Not only does he teach dance to underprivileged kids, he's also the "ambassador for Kid Smartz, a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children," according to Teen Weekly Insider. "The program has a number of kid-friendly ideas to make sure kids know not to talk to strangers," Simmons said, adding, "So, I was part of a social media campaign and Safety Dance video that contained a rap and dance about how to stay safe from strangers and what to do if a stranger approached them." Yes, that would the the 80's hit by Men Without Hats, re-mixed with lyrics like "I got KidSmartz and I can tell 'em no / I stand up to anyone making me uncomfortable / And you can bet when I'm feeling upset / I can tell my trusted adult wassup!" So yes, it's definitely worth a click.

He's homeschooled

Like a lot of kids who grew up in the entertainment business, Simmons' education has been non-traditional, but that doesn't mean he hasn't done well. Even as a homeschooled student, Simmons says he recognizes the value of being proactive. "I'm finding what works best for me is to always be ahead of my course work. That way, if something comes up I don't have to stress about school and working at the same time," Simmons told Teen Weekly Insider.

He also admitted during his YouTube Q&A session that his least favorite subject is English and his favorite subject is lunch, so don't get it twisted, Simmons is no nerd. In fact, when describing his ideal "dopest class ever," he listed off his funny friend to be the class clown, a smart girl to cheat off of, another girl who could get him out of class, a "super-pretty girl," and some fellow dancers to "get turnt up with." Yep, classic 17-year-old male preferences confirmed.

He's in the dance group Boy Squad

In 2017, celebrity choreographer and YouTube star Matt Steffanina claimed he had the idea to put together a dance crew who would "develop themselves not only as dancers, but past what other really dope 14-year-old dancers are doing in LA right now." That crew is called Boy Squad, and its members are Grant Knoche, Ken San Jose, Josh Cruz, (fellow new Mouseketeer) Gabe DeGuzman, and of course, "Big" Will Simmons.

But wait a second, because according to a J-14 post dated December 17, 2015, the dance crew Boy Squad already existed, except it's members were Sean Lew, Kenneth San Jose, Josh Price, Gabe De Guzman and "Big" Will Simmons. This original crew even has a dance video set to Jovanie's "What's The Move" on YouTube. So, what gives? How did Grant Knoche take Sean Lew's place, and did Josh Price change his name to Josh Cruz or are they two different dope dancers? The mysteries of Boy Squad must be explained!