Young Boy With Autism Goes Viral With Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ Dance
Eight-year-old William Ryan suffers from autism and has difficulty communicating verbally, but that doesn't stop him from dancing like nobody's watching.
The performance was part of Ryan's entry into a dance competition launched by Aspects Holidays, a leasing agency located in St. Ives, Cornwall. The agency set up a camera out of their office in the seaside town and invited participants to show off their dance moves in a very public way in the hopes of winning a prize.
After nailing Jackson's iconic moves while on vacation with his family, Ryan was announced as the winner, taking home a gift basket, gift card and a free vacation rental in February, according to CBS. And boy, did he earn it!
In the clip, young Ryan can be seen spiritedly shimmying, twisting and clawing his way through the instantly recognizable 1983 jam as pedestrians occasionally stroll by around him, some stopping curiously.
On Facebook, his mother, Gemma Ryan, addressed her son's condition as well as his passion for dancing and how Jackson's videos have helped William to express himself, according to CBS.
"The first thing he said was 'Mummy, can I do Thriller?'" she wrote on her family's page, adding that while the young boy struggles to make friends, "about eighteen months ago his Dad introduced him (via YouTube) to the wonders of Michael Jackson and he watched his videos for hours on end and learnt [sic] all his routines by heart."
On Halloween (October 31), Ryan, while dressed up as Jackson from his "Thriller" video, shared a special video on YouTube thanking his supporters for all their kind words and encouragement.
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