Work it, tiny dancer! Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Aretha Franklin won two Grammys for her classic 1967 single “Respect,” but we’re guessing that even she’d be floored by the swift success of 6-year-old North Carolina dance student Johanna Colon, who went viral after covering Franklin’s tune at her June 6 recital.
Johanna’s mother, Elissa, initially posted a video of her daughter’s delightfully sassy routine (with two fellow tap dancers in pink tutus) on Facebook for family back in New York, but never expected the clip to be viewed 20 million times in two days.
“She practiced very hard,” Elissa told TODAY.com on Tuesday, June 9. “She would make me play it on Pandora constantly. All eyes were on her from the beginning. As soon as she walked out, everybody was just floored.”
As the viral clip demonstrates, Johanna not only delivered an on-point routine with plenty of sass and style, but the youngster also encouraged her fellow dancers from Heather’s Dance Inc., when they lost their step, and gathered them for a collective bow after the song.
The tiny dancer hasn’t comprehended her new status as the Internet’s latest viral video star. “We told Johanna about it, and she’s excited, but she really doesn’t totally understand,” mom explained. “She was more excited that she had her last day of school and that she got ice cream for having a great report card.”
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