Belfast Telegraph

Down’s Syndrome performer and Pan’s People star compete in The Greatest Dancer

They are among the contestants hoping to impress the audience in BBC One’s new dance show.

A freestyle performer with Down’s Syndrome, a disco troupe featuring a founding member of Pan’s People and a Welsh all-girl Latin formation group are among the acts vying to impress in BBC One’s new dancing competition show.

The first episode of The Greatest Dancer will also see a ballerina from Kazakhstan and a pair of young tap dancers take to the stage in the hopes of securing a place in the callbacks.

The hopefuls first have to compete in the auditions stage of the show, where they must perform in front of a mirror, hiding the audience and dance captains Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and Matthew Morrison.

Following the audition stage, the three dance captains will then whittle the contestants down to just nine acts, who they will mentor through live shows.

At least 75% of the audience must vote for an act through the secret mirror in order for them to progress to the next stage.

The winner, voted for by viewers, will take home a £50,000 prize and the opportunity to perform as a guest on Strictly later in the year.

The programme, which will see a range of styles from ballet to jazz and hip hop to Bollywood, is hosted by former Strictly champion Alesha Dixon and Diversity dancer Jordan Banjo.

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Jordan Banjo and Alesha Dixon will host the show (Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames/BBC)

Streetdance group The Frobacks are the first act to take to the stage and leave Cheryl flustered when one performer rips his shirt off in the middle of their routine.

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Frobacks (Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames)

Welsh all-girl Latin formation group KLA and ballet dancer Yassaui Mergaliyev also hope to impress the crowds, alongside Dee Dee Wilde and Pan’s Fans.

Wilde, who was a founding member of Pan’s People, is joined by a group of flares-wearing dancers to unroll a banner saying “It’s never too late to dance”.

The show also sees a performance from D’relle West whose voguing routine is hampered when the mask he is wearing at the start of his number gets caught in his hair when he tries to pull it off.

Cheryl super-fan James Clifton, 23,  hopes to come face to face with his idol by impressing the crowd with his freestyle routine to her track Crazy Stupid Love with Tinie Tempah, while a performance by contemporary dancer Ellie leaves Mabuse in tears.

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Ellie (Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames)

Also trying their luck are street dancers Urban Jokers, tap dancers TJ and Hamish and freestyle dancer Andrew, 21, who has Down’s Syndrome.

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Urban Jokers (Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames)

The performer, who is accompanied to his audition by his mother Donna, can be seen reassuring her before the audition that he will not fall over, telling her: “I’m a balanced boy, like Billy Elliot.”

The dancer is praised by Morrison, who says he believes the audition will “inspire a lot of people”.

The Greatest Dancer starts on BBC One at 8pm.

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