The lovable and increasingly versatile Dawn French brings us this warm, joyful showcase for children of the world aged 3-13, who have either become internet sensations or who have taken their skill to a multiple award-winning elite status!
In the second episode, we met three future British Blacklisters – two of whom we have met before!
B-Girls Eddie,12, and Terra, 10 are Wolverhampton natives who have already travelled the world participating in local, national and international competitions and exhibitions as they astound audiences with their break dancing skills. Aged just 10 and 8 at the time, the sisters from the Soul Mavericks Crew, starred in the micro short film “Eddie & Terra” – a 4 1/2 minute documentary directed by Ben Williams and produced by BCTV for Breakin’ Convention B-Girls. It won the Audience Choice award at the TriForce Short Film Festival 2014, as we fell in love with feisty 8 year old Terra and the more reserved 10 year old Eddie. Since 2013, their breakdancing battles had gone viral on YouTube, and last night, they showed the UK why.
Describing her style as “Power… hardcore” back in 2014, Terra’s ambitions are still to become a dancing mermaid making people all around the world happy. Now, she has added actor and dance teacher to her ambitions. In contrast, Eddie’s self-description was, “Elegant… swagger… essence,” and would still like to be a dance teacher. Not sure if hairdresser is also still on her list! They have both been guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the US, yet this is their first main stream UK platform. Sigh.
B-Girl Terra learned to walk by the age of 9 months and was doing handstands at just 2 years old. Their dad enrolled both girls in dance classes when they were just 18 months old with mum Jennifer’s blessing, as a hobby! Now, they practise for hours a day and also do gymnastics. Aside from their hugely engaging personalities, the amazing thing about them, is their display of striking physical strength and versatility. Their Little Big Shots routine showed off their different personal styles, whilst seamlessly weaving together in a partnership of spell-binding and strikingly mature hip hop choreography.
The sublime Emile Gooding, 11, closed the show with a different style of spell-binding dance. Reading native Gooding attends the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire, and is proficient in both ballet and modern dance.
Mum, Sedge, and dad, Darryl, were in the audience as their son performed a beautiful ballet routine to Calum Scott’s, Dancing On My Own. He is grace and easy elegance incarnate and his expression is mature way beyond his years.
From a very young age, Gooding showed a talent and love of dance, and is very driven and keen to be the best dancer possible. At only 8 years old, he beat thousands of other young dancers to come top in the Festival of Theatre Dance competition in 2013. Now, he trains for four hours every morning and then tackles his academics during weekdays.
Since November 2016, the devastatingly charming youngster is playing the role of Billy Elliot in the UK tour of the smash-hit musical until the end of July.
He has also performed with the English National Ballet in, Swan Lake the Royal Albert Hall, and performed alongside older brother Remi, 13, in the West End’s Matilda. Remi has starring roles in, Thriller the Musical and an episode of, Doctor Who alongside the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and the other Gooding brother, Joel, 15, is part of London-based dance company, Avant-Garde.
In this age of ‘reality’ TV and televised talent competition, Little Big Shots is a warm breath of gentle fresh air. Dawn French shares a great empathy with the children as she interviews them and remains to the side of the stage as they perform. And they respond to her beautifully.
The show is based on the hugely popular US TV show, Little Big Shots, hosted by Steve Harvey, which became the most watched new series of 2015 – 2016. With no points up for grabs and, therefore, no critique, aspiring young talents can simply enjoy the experience of performing and baring their talent to millions of viewers.
Little Big Shots airs Wednesday Nights at 8pm on ITV1 (9pm on ITV1+1), or catch up on missed episodes here.