Only on 10 : The wild tale of Joe “Wild Man” Potier

Chances are if you follow zydeco music, trail rides, and festivals, you’ve seen him doing some pretty wild things on the dance floor.

It’s no wonder they call him “wild man!”

Joe Potier says, Ever since I was in high school they called me “Wild Man” because of my high energy

Believe it or not, Potier is 64 years old and has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

The parks native who was taught and encouraged by his parents began dancing publicly when he was only four years old.

Potier says, “My father when he started it was called ‘Lala Dancing’.”

So what is LaLa Dancing?

Potier says LaLa Dancing is Zydeco dancing and Zydeco great Clifton Chenier changed it to that.

Potier’s unconventional style is influenced by many things like music from Zydeco to Swing Out to R & R, but perhaps more surprising?

Children.

Potier says, “A three-year-old girl said I want you to do this, do that and do this.  So she saw me dance and the next day she said, wow, you did my dance!!”

The father of two works with area youth, including many with physical disabilities and the elderly in his day job with Smile – a community action agency.

After work, he heads to the dance floor where he has no problem finding a partner – many line up to get a chance to twirl with him.

He says his goal is to share joy, making sure he entertains onlookers as well as his dance partner.

Potier says, “People tell me all the time, they say they can’t dance but they sure like watching me.”

This hometown favorite has danced his way from local stages to movies, books and more.

Potier says, “John Delafosse started my career after the movie passion fish with Alfre Woodard.

Potier was the dance instructor for 1992 movie “Passion Fish” and “Eve’s Bayou”  in 1997.

He’s also in Robert Rand’s memoir about panic disorders. The author gives Potier credit for helping him better manage his condition thru the benefits of social dancing.

And of course,, all that dancing keeps him in good shape.

He says in one night of dancing, he changes his shirt three or four times, but his only choice for dance shoes?

Boots.

Potier says, “The boots help my ankles.    The boots and my hat, I can’t do without them.”

As he looks back on his years of dancing, he credits Zydeco legends and local R & B artists for putting his talents in the spotlight, sharing the stage and passion for entertainment.

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