Gordon declines dance invitation from President Obama

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – What do you do when the leader of the free world asks you to give a break-dancing demonstration?

If you're Jeff Gordon, you politely decline.

Gordon and wife Ingrid Vandebosch attended a White House state dinner for African leaders Tuesday night and at one point found themselves dancing next to President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

Vandebosch took the opportunity to brag about Gordon's break-dancing skills and told the president of her husband's talent on the dance floor. NASCAR fans remember Gordon caving to peer pressure and break-dancing briefly during the 2011 Champion's Week festivities in Las Vegas.

VIDEO: Gordon breakdances at 2011 NASCAR awards

So Obama asked Gordon to show off his moves.

According to Gordon, Obama said: "Let's see some breakdancing."

"I said, 'No, I don't think this is the right music for it,' " Gordon said Friday with a laugh.

Fortunately, Obama let Gordon off the hook.

"He also suggested right after that it probably wasn't wise of me to do that with getting toward the end of our season," said Gordon, a four-time Sprint Cup champion who currently leads the points. "And I agreed with him."

But didn't the president have the power to order some break-dancing music be played?

"He did," Gordon said. "And I was very thankful he didn't."

Gordon was attending the dinner because of the work his Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation is doing in Rwanda. Through Gordon's foundation, a cancer clinic was established to provide care to those who desperately need it in a country which lacks the basics in many areas.

Rwanda president Paul Kagame and Gordon even got to meet and shake hands – which Gordon said was a first for him (the driver has twice visited Rwanda to help raise awareness about the lack of quality care for cancer patients there).

"We're always looking at what more we can do to help kids who either don't have access to treatment or how we can get them better treatment," Gordon said. "That's not just here in the U.S. We're fighting hard to find cures for the really rare diseases that are here and find better long term treatments, and that's why we support the research. But in Rwanda, kids aren't getting access to it. … We want to do more of it and it's a great country to do that kind of work in. Hopefully it can expand to other countries."

On the home front, Gordon's work with the AARP's Drive to End Hunger program will continue in 2015. His No. 24 car sponsor announced an extension with Hendrick Motorsports, but it will reduce from 22 to 13 races.

Gordon gave a slight smile when asked for a hint as to which company might pick up the remaining races (Axalta will also return in 2015).

"I can't say right now, but things are strong for us at Hendrick Motorsports right now," he said. "The last couple years, we've all been very stressed out about sponsorships and getting those deals done. Here recently, a lot of positive good things have been happening. So there's more to come."

Meanwhile, the National Guard, which has been with teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Chevrolet since Earnhardt Jr. joined the team, announced Wednesday it would no longer provide sponsorship starting in 2015.


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