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Q: Between his role as Spider-Man and his epic "Lip Sync Battle" performance, Tom Holland seems to be pretty gifted with his acrobatics. Was he a dancer or something beforehand?

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Author: 
Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Not "or" -- he was a dancer and more.

You're right to grab on to the dancing aspect first, though. Vox did the same thing in a fawning article explaining why Tom Holland is a better Spider-Man than predecessors Tobey Maguire (in the mid-2000s series of films) and Andrew Garfield (in the early 2010s films).

Prior to becoming part of the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, Holland was a stage actor who also did gymnastics and parkour running. His stage work required him to study classical dance as well, particularly for his role in the London stage adaptation of "Billy Elliot," about a miner's son who becomes a ballet dancer.

"Gymnastics and parkour are valuable skills for any action performer to have, but actors must be able to emote through that movement if they're going to headline an entire franchise," the Vox critic Oliver Sava said. "That's where dance comes in."

Sava goes on to talk about the challenge of communicating emotion while wearing a full-body costume, and how the Spider-Man character's whole superpower is based on movement and use of space (that is to say, wall-crawling).

And, yes, we did see some more of this dance background in his belt-winning performance on Spike TV's "Lip Sync Battle," where he turned in an over-the-top mashup of "Singin' in the Rain" and Rihanna's pop hit "Umbrella."

 

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