Lil Buck moved to Los Angeles when he was 19 to pursue a career in dance.:2 In 2010, he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and co-choreographed the music video for the song "Tightrope" by Janelle Monáe.
In 2011, director and former ballet dancer Damian Woetzel met Lil Buck and paired him with Yo-Yo Ma in "The Swan" performance that went viral on YouTube. Woetzel heard about Lil Buck from his wife Heather Watts who saw an old YouTube video clip of Lil Buck freestyle dancing to Camille Saint-Saëns’ Le cygne (The Swan) in a New Ballet Ensemble (NBE) school performance in West Memphis, Arkansas. NBE director Katie Smythe introduced Buck to Saint-Saëns' music and the idea of applying jookin' to classical music. Watts showed the clip to her husband Woetzel who then showed the clip to Yo-Yo Ma. They all eventually met by using Facebook to contact Katie Smythe (Lil Buck's ballet teacher) who facilitated the introduction.:2