Back in April, a 35-year-old British woman named Ellie Cole was dancing at a bus stop, grooving to the Alesha Dixon song "Knock Down." As Cole shook her hips, bobbed her head, and deployed a sassy hand wave, all the while she was being filmed by a woman in the cafe across the street. The subsequent video was uploaded to YouTube under the title "Eastleigh's Got Talent," with Cole's moves set to the ABBA hit "Dancing Queen," and as of this writing, it's racked up well over a million views and counting.
This is the sort of story that might have resulted with Cole upset over her privacy being overturned as she became an unwitting YouTube viral sensation, but I'm pleased to report there's been a surprisingly happy outcome to her newfound fame. Ellie Cole, Bus Stop Dancer Extraordinaire, has been offered a part in the new musical AH Men at the prestigious Point Theatre in her hometown of Eastleigh.
The news comes five months after Cole's video became a hit on YouTube. Apparently the show’s writer and director Lynne Paris saw the clip and decided Cole would be the perfect addition to her cast:
When I saw the video at the bus stop I saw an authenticity in Ellie that I knew I could work with to develop her. (...) I tracked her down through Facebook and invited her to the final rehearsal and did some real time coaching with her that paid off. She was great and gelled with the rest of the AH Men cast straight away.
As it turns out, Cole is actually a former performing arts student: she studied theater in college before dropping out because she couldn't afford the classes.
Here's the original video of Ellie Cole dancing at her bus stop:
I LOVE the air punch at :49, don't you?
I don't know if the director truly saw something in Cole or if she was savvy enough to realize that casting her would pull in some free publicity for the show, but either way, it's a great outcome. Cole gets to achieve her long-shelved dream of appearing on stage, which she describes as "very flattering and humbling."
I find it hard to believe what happened with the video. It’s like ‘wow, why me?’ I’m just a normal everyday person who happens to like dancing at bus stops. I have my headphones in every day on the way back from work and I just can’t help myself -- I just dance.
Good for her! Dance like no one's watching, girl! Even though someone probably is, and apparently they have a video camera.
What do you think of this story? Are you surprised someone cast Ms. Cole in a musical as a result of her video going viral?
Image via YouTube