Some things are just genetic. Because when 5-year-old son Maddox joined Stephen "tWitch" Boss at the photo shoot for his newly launched limited-edition Psycho Bunny x tWitch collaboration, the preschooler took to the camera like, well, a Boss.
"Oh, he was ecstatic," tWitch recalled to E! News in an exclusive interview. "He was ecstatic. Like, he was beaming from ear to ear all day. He loved all the crew members. He loved being in front of the camera and also looking at the shots behind the camera. And that was awesome, too, to just watch him operate and kind of do his thing."
Certainly, Maddox wasn't the only one sporting a broad-faced grin as they posed in pieces as bright as tWitch's personality and demonstrated the steps for the accompanying #DADMOVES TikTok challenge. "When you see that your kids have a natural knack for something, I think that's really special," shared the proud dad of three. "And he just comes alive in front of the camera, he just really does."
So do they think they have a budding star on their hands?
Perhaps. tWitch says he and wife Allison Holker are constantly flip-flopping about whose (carefully choreographed) footsteps Maddox and 18-month-old sister Zaia are following in.
"We're really trying to figure out, like, what slice of who is our kids' personalities," he admitted. While eldest Weslie, Allison's 13-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, is unquestionably Mom's mini ("We're each other, I just happen to be the adult version," Allison recently told E! News), Maddox is a bit of "a toss-up," said tWitch. "Because there are a lot of times where I'm like, 'Maddox is exactly like you,' to Allison. Like, just a beam of light all day every day. But then I'm also like that too, you know?"
Uh, we're aware. The 38-year-old Montgomery, Ala. native has been lighting up our TV screens since the fourth season of So You Think You Can Dance in 2008 and for the past seven years as The Ellen DeGeneres Show's in-house DJ and now co-executive producer.
And as you might expect from someone rarely seen without the most infectious of grins, he's not so much a glass-half-full type as he is someone who recognizes his glass is overflowing with abundance and he's here to drink it all up.
He, Allison and their crew constantly appear as if they're always having the most fun ever, whether they're showcasing their best dance grooves or another Boss Family Workout. And he'd agree that life at their bustling Los Angeles-area home is pretty much as fantastic as it appears.
"We all just naturally have a good time," he said, adding that he and Allison, 33, avoid getting caught up in the more negative parenting tropes. "Is it tiring? Absolutely. Are you constantly tired? Of course." But, as he put it, "God willing, our kids grow up happy and healthy and all that and we've got them for, what, 18 years? And in the grand scheme of that, that's not that long."
Arguably, he and his bride of seven years have mastered that whole "happy and healthy" part. Though when asked to share the parenting secrets they've accumulated over the past decade, he humbly insists they're figuring it out as they go along just like the rest of us.
"There is no formula," he said with a laugh. "You know, there really isn't. And I think that that's like the great Catch-22. Right?" The way he sees it, they could subscribe to, say, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's style of punishment-free, fully autonomous parenting, "but that don't mean that our kids are going to turn out like Willow [Smith] and Jaden [Smith]."
Still, he is willing to spill what's worked for them.
"There's certain principles," he said of their approach, "which are open communication and making sure your kids feels heard and supported. And then we just take it from there."
Quality time is a must, which means their brood is often along for the wild ride that is his and Allison's careers. "What we've done, I think, really well was make sure that we integrated our kids into the world that we live in and vice versa," he explained. "I think a lot of times people feel like when they have kids, they have to stop everything that they're doing, even when it comes to things that they really enjoy. Like hobbies, like traveling and things like that. It's like, 'Nah, you can introduce them to that.'"
With Weslie part of the routine since her mom's return to So You Think You Can Dance as an all-star in 2010 (which is where the Utah-bred contemporary dancer found her forever duet partner in tWitch), she's "been all over the place since she was tiny, tiny," said tWitch. As a result, "she's naturally observant and kind of has that cool as a cucumber demeanor, you know?"
They make it a point to foster that, he continued, with honest, engaging conversations.
"We make sure that we try to typically stay away from the generic questions at the dinner table," noted tWitch. The standard "How was school today?" is always accompanied by follow-ups, he explained, "and then questions that spur conversation: 'If you could own an apartment anywhere in the world and you could travel there at any time, where would it be and why?' So then we get a peek into where she wants to travel to or where she thinks about living when she's older."
Activism and giving back are frequent topics of conversation as well. ("We talk about everything," Weslie, already a protest-attending, civic-minded, engaged citizen at 13, recently told E! News.) And they were huge motivating factors when tWitch decided to team up with Psycho Bunny for this Father's Day collab.
"Psycho Bunny is a brand that I've loved over the years," noted tWitch who jumped—likely, quite literally—at the opportunity to help design bright, cheerful clothing (men's pieces from $70; children's from $52), "because we could definitely use a lot of that in our world right now. So all the pops of color, all the vibrant shades and stuff like that, I just think that it feels good."
But what feels even better was taking part in the line's yearly Color Outside The Lines initiative that donates half of the collection's proceeds toward supporting youth access to the arts. tWitch's charity of choice, Los Angeles non profit Versa-Style, is dedicated to bringing its hip-hop dance performances, workshops and classes to underserved communities.
"Not putting it lightly, dance saved my life," insisted tWitch. "And Versa-Style is doing the exact same thing with the youth here in L.A., empowering the youth through arts and dance. So I just love the fact that, not only did I get to make a super cool, fly collection, but that collection also gives back. So not only is you looking fresh, but you're also inspiring the youth. So it's like a win-win."
Plus the collection's #DADMOVES TikTok challenge gives him an opportunity to flaunt his talents and embarrass his kids, so we're going to call that a win-win-win-win.
Though we reject the idea that anything tWitch has ever done in his life could rightfully be compared to the moves our fathers bust out at weddings, the point of his challenge is to encourage a little light-hearted family fun ahead of Father's Day.
Comprised "primarily of party grooves" (think: the Cabbage Patch, renamed the "I Got This" and the Sprinkler, or "The Listener"), it's not as much about flexing as it's "meant to inspire joy," tWitch noted, adding, "even though I'm a dancer, I still dance ridiculously goofy in front of my kids as much as I can to embarrass them."
Despite his undeniable cool factor—and nearly 3 million Instagram followers—he'd argue he's got a black belt in teen mortification.
"I have an uncanny ability to embarrass my kids—100 percent," he insisted. With Weslie, he continued, "we breathe and she gets embarrassed, you know what I mean? And the fact that other people will think that we have a coolness factor, no, that doesn't help at all. It actually just makes it worse."
Though a few of Weslie's friends follow Allison on TikTok, the teen isn't completely convinced her parents are with it. "We figured that maybe later in life, she will come to realize, 'Oh, maybe I did have some cool parents, actually,'" tWitch joked. "But right now, she's very much a teenager that's like, 'Y'all do that over there.'"
Which is why he's just living for every second of family time, sharing that he plans to spend June 20 manning the barbecue. "Just being able to celebrate Father's Day for me is awesome, just being able to spend time with them," he said of his ideal day. "We don't even have to do anything crazy. We usually just grill. Put something on the grill and just chill out and have a low-key day and eat. That's pretty amazing."
The reason he and Allison "never really prescribed to" the less enticing pictures of parenthood is because he appreciates just how fleeting all the diaper changes and late night snuggles, even the tantrums, can be. "When they become teenagers, they want to start hanging out by themselves," he explained. "That unadulterated, like, 'Mom, Dad, I just want to hang out with you! You guys are the coolest people in the world! Let's do this! Let's do this! Let's do this!' you've got that, maybe, 12 years, really."
He's not saying that the tough stuff isn't tough. "The tiredness comes in waves, the chaos comes in waves," he admitted, "but at the same time, they're only going to be in the house for a little bit of time, you know? So we just want to enjoy it while we've got them."
Every last wide-eyed, camera-monopolizing fully ecstatic moment.