Henry Cooke, Taylor Williams and Chris Cooke as Super Mario Bros. and Princess Peach at Global Dance Festival.EXPAND
Henry Cooke, Taylor Williams and Chris Cooke as Super Mario Bros. and Princess Peach at Global Dance Festival.
Mauricio Rocha

Super Mario Bros. and Princess Peach Light Up Global Dance Festival

Lights, live music, carnival rides and interactive art installations filled the Mile High Stadium parking lot during Global Dance Festival in late July. There was plenty of festival fashion, too, with familiar pop-culture characters dancing through the fest. We were particularly taken with a trio based on the Super Mario Bros. games. The character of Mario was introduced in 1981, his fraternal twin brother, Luigi, in 1983, and Princess Peach in 1985; the original game is one of the best-selling of all time, and the figures are iconic.

Real-life twins Chris and Henry Cooke gave the Italian plumber brothers a modern-raver twist: Their outfits of matching baseball hats, tank tops and shorts included custom-built, light-up LED wands. We spoke with Chris Cook, the Luigi of the trio, and Taylor Williams, who dressed as Princess Peach, about their fashion sense, their costumes, and what they thought of the festival.

Chris Cooke created the light-up LED wands/staffs; he hopes to sell them at festivals one day.EXPAND
Chris Cooke created the light-up LED wands/staffs; he hopes to sell them at festivals one day.
Mauricio Rocha

Westword: Where are you from?

Chris Cooke: I’m originally from New York, but I currently live in Florida.

What is your profession?

I’m a business architect for a medical software company during the day, and I create LED devices for music festivals in my spare time. They are only in the prototype phase right now, but I hope to be able to sell them really soon!

What inspired your Super Mario Bros. outfits?

My twin brother and I grew up playing Mario Bros. games. We wanted to go as them, but with a modern, EDM-style twist.

Who was your favorite artist at Global Dance Festival?

Illenium with Said the Sky was my favorite. I was supposed to see Illenium at Sunset Music Festival, but day two was canceled due to weather, so I was really excited to see him at Global.

Colorful beaded bracelets, or "candy," are a classic rave accessory.EXPAND
Colorful beaded bracelets, or "candy," are a classic rave accessory.
Mauricio Rocha

Where do you like to shop for fashion?

I rarely buy clothes in brick-and-mortar stores anymore, but when I do, it’s normally outlets like Off Saks, Calvin Klein or Brooks Brothers. When I’m not at music festivals, I’m normally dressed in a polo and khaki shorts.

What is your style mantra?

When I’m getting ready for a music festival, my mantra is "Don’t worry, be happy." My goal when going to these things is to improve the experience of as many people as I can.

Is there anything you would like to add?

This weekend was the first time I got to meet my twin brother's girlfriend, Taylor, and she had the courage to do a group costume with us at her first music festival ever. It was the best first impression I could have possibly imagined!

Henry Cooke, Taylor Williams and Chris Cooke with custom-built light-up staffs at Global Dance Festival.EXPAND
Henry Cooke, Taylor Williams and Chris Cooke with custom-built light-up staffs at Global Dance Festival.
Mauricio Rocha

Williams, who was dressed as Princess Peach, is from Highlands Ranch and works as a production assistant in sports television.

Westword: What inspired your Super Mario Bros. outfits?

Taylor Williams: My boyfriend, Henry, has an identical twin. Chris loves festivals, and especially loves attention, so he came up with the idea of being Mario and Luigi. Not only are they recognizable characters, but their red-and-green color scheme stands out in a crowd. I decided to play along and go as Princess Peach. Pink is my favorite color, so I was excited to get decked out in princess garb. I thought we would get some strange looks, but everyone loved our costumes. To my surprise, we weren't even close to being the craziest-dressed group at the festival.

Taylor Williams shows off her candy.EXPAND
Taylor Williams shows off her candy.
Mauricio Rocha

Who was your favorite artist at Global Dance Festival?

Global Dance was my first music festival ever this year. I wasn't sure what to expect, but every artist we saw there was so much fun, whether I'd heard them before or not. The environment helps. It was awesome to be surrounded by people who just wanted to dance, laugh, meet people and enjoy the music. If I had to choose a favorite, I would say Illenium. The entire crowd was dancing!

Where do you like to shop for fashion?

Recently, I've loved Topshop's selection. They're the only place I could find a denim skirt pink enough for my costume.

What is your style mantra?

Look good, feel good.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Henry and Chris grew out their facial hair for the costumes, and Chris put mascara on his mustache to make it look darker. At the last minute, Henry decided not to. He brought up a good point: If he kissed me with a mascara-covered ’stache, all three of us would end up having mustaches by the end of the night, because his would rub off on my face!

Keep reading for more photos of Global Dance Festival.

The parking lot was turned into something out of a Dr. Seuss book. The art installations were created by Colorado-based companies Gamma Space, Algorhythm Designs and Feral Studio.EXPAND
The parking lot was turned into something out of a Dr. Seuss book. The art installations were created by Colorado-based companies Gamma Space, Algorhythm Designs and Feral Studio.
Mauricio Rocha
Deadmau5 performed on July 20; the next night featured Tiesto as the headliner on the main stage.
Deadmau5 performed on July 20; the next night featured Tiesto as the headliner on the main stage.
Mauricio Rocha
The Amazon Stage was decorated like a very green jungle overflowing with vegetation.EXPAND
The Amazon Stage was decorated like a very green jungle overflowing with vegetation.
Mauricio Rocha
Lots of hip-hop and rap acts played on the Amazon Stage, including Rich the Kid and Juicy J.EXPAND
Lots of hip-hop and rap acts played on the Amazon Stage, including Rich the Kid and Juicy J.
Mauricio Rocha
The giant dragonfly sculptures were made by Algorhythm Designs.EXPAND
The giant dragonfly sculptures were made by Algorhythm Designs.
Mauricio Rocha
Once the sun went down, the dragonfly sculptures lit up the festival park.EXPAND
Once the sun went down, the dragonfly sculptures lit up the festival park.
Mauricio Rocha
This owl was made by Gamma Space.EXPAND
This owl was made by Gamma Space.
Mauricio Rocha
The Genesis was just one of many rides at Global Dance Festival.EXPAND
The Genesis was just one of many rides at Global Dance Festival.
Mauricio Rocha

The Global Dance Festival environment was designed to welcome an entire world of both music and fun lovers, a place where they could use their imagination. It turned Denver into a fantasy land for two days.

But don't wait until next year to show off your street style. Always express yourself, Denver. 

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