Talent shows help to shine the spotlight on people who might not normally get a chance to show off what they can do. They give regular people from all walks of life the chance to perform in front of huge audiences and feel like a star for at least a few minutes. They help us to realize that we’re all capable of something special, if we put our minds to it, and some of the performances we’ve seen over the years have been truly inspiring. This was one of them.
Andrew Self is a super talented 21-year-old dancer who also has Down syndrome.
He decided to take part on the BBC’s new dancing show: The Greatest Dancer.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
The set-up of the show is simple: dancers start their performances in a closed off studio space. As they dance, the audience get to vote on whether or not the dancer has impressed them. If a dancer impresses at least 75% of the audience, the studio opens up onto the stage and the dancer gets to meet the ‘Dance Captains’ – Otlile Mabuse, Matthew Morrison and Cheryl – and proceeds to the next stage.
Andrew appeared on the show with his mom, Donna, who looked much more nervous and worried than him.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
Donna then introduced Andrew to the crowd, saying that he’d started to fall in love with dancing at the age of 11.
The audience and Captains then got to see various images of young Andrew dancing at home, learning that he taught himself a variety of styles and enjoys watching dancing shows in his free time.
Donna also said that dancing has given her son so much more confidence in himself, and that she would feel so proud to see him perform in front of such a big crowd.
Andrew’s buddy Tom was also watching from the audience.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
Andrew stepped into the studio, suddenly starting to look slightly more nervous as showtime approached.
He stepped out into the middle of the floor, and the crowd went silent in anticipation in the seconds leading up to his first moves.
Andrew looked a little unsure of himself at first, but as soon as Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling!’ started to play, the 21-year-old burst into action, beginning a freestyle performance and showing off his moves for the whole audience to enjoy.
The counter in the corner of the screen showed the number of votes he was getting, and it started to add up very quickly.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
Within just a matter of seconds, Andrew’s graceful and stylish moves had impressed more than 10% of the audience, then 20%, then 30%, and the number just kept rising.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
Moments later, Andrew hit the golden number of 75%. The studio wall opened up, revealing hundreds of smiling faces all cheering for him.
And Andrew adored the attention, continuing his routine out on the stage, much to the delight of the Dance Captains.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
He got a standing ovation. And that’s not all.
When it came time for the Captains to share their thoughts, Cheryl broke down in tears. She was so touched by Andrew’s heart and soul, she just couldn’t hold back the tears.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
The other Captains were equally impressed, with Matthew saying that Andrew was “going to inspire a lot of people” with his performance and Oti calling him “amazing”.
Tom was blown away too and Donna was so happy for her son. You can see it all happen, complete with the reactions of the crowd and Andrew’s loved ones, in the video below.
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