It’s a new dance craze sure to sweep Romper Rooms, if not adult dance clubs, around the globe. Just bounce up and down, shimmy the right leg, then the left, throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care and drop to your knees in a manner that would make the Godfather of Soul proud.
New Zealand toddler Cory Elliott was so moved by the infectious grooves of Beyonce’s megahit “Single Ladies,” he couldn’t contain himself. And like any doting parent is liable to do, Cory’s dad, Chester Elliott, captured the moment on video.
Of course, most parents think anything their baby does is cute; this one actually is. Cory’s diaper dance to “Single Ladies” has become the latest YouTube sensation, luring some 570,000 viewers so far to watch the 20-month-old shake his groove thing and inspiring countless kiddie imitators.
‘10 e-mails a minute’
Dad Chester told TODAY he knew he was taping something undeniably precious while watching his music-crazy son try to imitate Beyonce’s slick dance moves in the video. And while he posted it on YouTube to share the priceless moment with family and friends, he’s awestruck by the response.
“At work this morning [I got] 10 e-mails a minute from people watching the video,” said Elliott, a graphic designer in Auckland. “It’s funny, because at nighttime, I’ll get people from America, and then during the day I’ll get people from Norway, all over, e-mailing me.
“It’s a bit surreal.”
Trying to copy Beyonce
Elliott, who says young Cory is an equal opportunity music fan, loving everything from Mozart to hip-hop, showed signs he liked to dance shortly after learning to walk. But Beyonce especially stirred up his cut-a-rug bent; he was drawn to her moves like a moth to a flame.
“We were just flipping the channels and he saw it, stopped, went over and just started dancing,” he told TODAY. “That [song] was his favorite. He just started to dance with that one. It struck a chord. We just happened to have a camera with us.
“I was lucky I was holding on to the camera, I was laughing so hard. He was almost trying to copy them.”
Indeed, Chester can be heard guffawing in the background of son Cory’s viral hit video. The toddler uses a handy coffee table to steady himself, but occasionally becomes so moved by the groove he kneels down without breaking stride from his hand and leg gyrations.
Little Cory showed he knows a hit when he sees and hears it. “Single Ladies” spent four weeks at No. 1 last year, and the video sparked what music experts called the first dance-craze phenomenon of the new millennium. The stark, black-and-white video places Beyonce and her world-class dance moves front and center, and is the biggest hit of her already storied career.
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‘Single Ladies’ spawns dance craze
More infamously, the “Single Ladies” video lost out to country cutie Taylor Swift’s “You Belong to Me” at this month’s MTV Video Music Awards. That sparked Kanye West to jump onstage, grab the microphone from Swift during her acceptance speech and shout that Beyonce got robbed. Beyonce later did claim the grand prize when “Single Ladies” was named Video of the Year.
And Cory has company in aping the famous video — the musical TV show “Glee” featured the song and video as a main plot point in a recent episode, and the New York dance studio Broadway Bodies is planning a special mash-up of “Single Ladies” with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in a dance performance of “All The Single Zombies” at the city’s annual Halloween parade.
Video: Baby bounces to Beyonce's beat (on this page) Cory, of course, is blissfully unaware he’s riding a cultural wave — he’s more like Mikey from the Life cereal commercials — he likes “Single Ladies,” he really likes it!
His mother, Renee Dexter, told TODAY Cory actually can be a bit camera-shy, but was so moved by the song he paid his dad no mind while he taped his impromptu performance.
“We thought he might stop because he doesn’t like the camera, but no, he just kept on going,” Dexter said. “I didn’t imagine it would become this huge. It’s really awesome.”
Unbeknownst to Cory, he’s sparked a cultural phenomenon even among his peer group. YouTube currently has more than 50 kiddie videos showing tots dancing to “Single Ladies.”
Cory will learn later that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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