Born to Perform share how they feel one year on from ‘euphoric’ BGT golden buzzer moment
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In just a number of days (April 23), it will have been a year since Northampton-based dance troupe Born to Perform became a golden buzzer act on Britain’s Got Talent.
The inclusive dance and performing arts school won the hearts of the nation and reduced the judges to tears, which saw David Walliams press the golden buzzer.
The 14 members of Born to Perform were sent straight through to the semi finals, after their performance to Hairspray’s ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’.
The fun-filled routine, with lots of spins, cartwheels and shimmying, was described by co-host Declan Donnelly as “joyous, just joyous”.
As Amanda Holden wiped away a tear, she said: “I did not stop smiling for the whole of that performance, you were amazing.”
Head judge Simon Cowell, who is difficult to impress, branded the routine as one of his “favourite auditions” before David pressed the golden buzzer.
Born to Perform, located in The Bee Hive in Kingsthorpe and The Old Savoy in the town centre, specialises in teaching children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The students have a mixture of additional needs, such as down syndrome, autism and turner syndrome, and the classes aim to improve confidence, communication and overall physical and mental wellbeing.
The dance school has three directors, Clemmie, Kim and Charlotte – Clemmie specialises in musical theatre, Charlotte deals with choreography, and Kim runs ‘sing and sign language’ classes.
Talking to Chronicle & Echo, Clemmie Milne said: “We can’t quite believe it has been a year.
“So much has happened since then and it felt incredible to look back while watching Britain’s Got Talent over the weekend.
“All of the feelings came flooding back and it reminded us all about what an achievement it was to get the golden buzzer.”
Clemmie described the return of Britain’s Got Talent to ITV and watching two acts receive a golden buzzer as a “reality check that they really did that”.
Born to Perform’s audition had to be kept a secret, which “made it even more exciting”.
They travelled down to London early on the day of their performance, and did a number of mini interviews for the show ahead of taking to the stage.
“It was the most surreal 20 minutes of our lives,” said Clemmie. “The Palladium was chock-a-block full of people and the judges didn’t look real.
“We tried to prepare the students as best we could, but you can’t really prepare them for something like that.
“We just kept reminding them how amazing they were and that it did not matter what happened.”
Clemmie says it was the best the 14 dancers had performed the routine, as they “pulled together and put their anxieties aside”.
The three directors did not anticipate the group would receive the golden buzzer, but Clemmie admits the “mental audience were chanting for them to receive it”.
Clemmie, Kim and Charlotte all ran onto the stage as the gold confetti fell from the ceiling.
“It was euphoric and I’ve never felt anything like it before,” says Clemmie. “Time stood still as we watched the audience give the group a standing ovation.
“They all felt so accepted and it was super emotional. We were all on a high.”
Since appearing on the popular talent show, many opportunities have come the group’s way.
Clemmie says the support from the town and county has been “unbelievable”, and the show has put them on the map for all the right reasons.
She said: “We have used this platform to be seen and heard in the disability world, and to prove disability doesn’t have to hold you back.”
The group has recently attended a number of conferences, where they have held workshops, done performances, and networked far and wide among the disability community.
“The students have shown the world what they can do,” said one of the three directors. “People with learning disabilities used to be shut away, but now it is all about the message of equality and inclusion.
“Britain’s Got Talent helped them feel good about themselves, and improved their mental health as they knew they had a purpose.”
This time last year, Born to Perform had 80 students who attended their dance classes across three days a week.
Since then, a session has been introduced for two to seven year olds and they welcome 80 people through the door on Saturdays alone.
There are between 25 and 30 students who attend on weekdays and the dance school has now increased to four days a week – to continue “providing a safe space for more people”.
Looking to what the next exciting year has to offer, Born to Perform will be doing their annual show in October.
The routine from Britain’s Got Talent will be performed, along with numbers from the rest of the growing dance school.
More than 1,000 people came to see the show over two nights last year, and Clemmie hopes it will be just as successful this time around.
The school also hopes to have another pantomime lined up for the festive period, as well as “anything else that comes their way as they try to say yes to everything”.
Since their television appearance, Born to Perform has seen other similar groups come out of the woodwork across the country – which they celebrate and hope to see continue.