A young dancer with Down syndrome has wowed a crowd and left judges in tears with his stunning TV audition.
Andrew, 21, appeared on the BBC’s new talent show The Greatest Dancer in the UK recently and received a standing ovation as he completed an energetic routine.
Dancing to ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling!’ by Justin Timberlake, Andrew danced across the stage, did cartwheels and even pulled off the splits – all with his proud mum watching from the side.
Everyone in the crowd has the opportunity to vote on the show, with dancers allowed through the doors to continue their dance in front of the judges once they receive 75 per cent of the overall vote. Luckily, it didn’t take long at all for Andrew to win everyone over.
As the doors parted in front of him, he was overcome with emotion and briefly stopped to take in the cheers, before his mum waved to him and encouraged him to complete the dance.
Singer and judge Cheryl was left in tears by the performance, while her co-judge and Glee star Matthew Morrison appeared gobsmacked when Andrew did the splits in front of him.
“I just feel really moved by the whole thing, that was amazing,” Cheryl told him at the end as he appeared shocked by the constant cheers from the crowd. “To watch you – your excitement and to see how much you thrive in front of an audience – is such a special moment. You should be proud of yourself.
“You clearly need to be doing this more, it does something to your soul, you’re in your element.”
Meanwhile, Andrew’s best friend Tom was in the crowd and quickly hugged the host midway through as he screamed for his friend.
Having joined him on stage afterwards, Andrew’s beaming mother said: “I’m beyond proud, he just comes to life with dance it’s his absolute passion.”
In an official profile video, shared by the BBC, she also explained that Andrew began dancing from the age of 11. While she said he’s often quite flat-footed when he walks, he “comes to life” when he starts dancing.
“Dance has helped Andrew’s confidence and self-esteem,” she added.
Fans rushed to congratulate the 21-year-old online after seeing his performance, which has been viewed on Facebook more than 23 million times, with one viewer commenting: “Music is his soul, he’s deffo like Billy Elliot,” while another added: “OMG I STARTED CRYING WHEN HE SAID I LOVE YOU BROTHER.”
And another wrote: “This lad right here wins at life #inspiring. And it has nothing to do with a condition or disability in anyway when i say this boy deserves every bit of happiness he had on that stage and going forward in life! The passion he showed was pure and that’s hard to come by !”