Wednesday 23 October 2019

This Christmas elf is a viral hit for his toy shop dance moves

A video of the entertainer at Hamleys in London has earned praise from industry professionals, with nearly 800,000 views on Twitter.

A Hamleys dancer has become a viral hit (PA)
A Hamleys dancer has become a viral hit (PA)

By Alastair Reid, Press Association

A Christmas elf giving it his all to entertain crowds on London’s Regent Street has become a viral hit on social media.

The video, which has been viewed nearly 800,000 times on Twitter, sees three elves strut their stuff to the tune of ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ outside world-famous toy shop Hamleys.

“I just like to make people laugh, comedy is what I thrive on and I do a lot of improv,”  said Mike Rogers, 23, the lead dancer in the video which has been shared thousands of times since Wednesday.

Rather than a set routine, the dance was pure improvisation, he said, part of a game where his Christmas colleagues had to copy his moves as he made them up.

He also applies his improv skills to invent songs for kids around the shop, a skill he picked up from the award-winning creators of improvised West End musical Showstopper.

“Improvising a song and whole musical is nice and challenging. But the dream is to do stand up or perform to crowds around the world.

“I do have lots of people coming in saying ‘you should be on the West End’,” he told the Press Association.

Another video posted to Instagram shows Mike getting into to it to the tune of Dreamgirls from the hit musical of the same name.

Sophie Ali, who filmed the Instagram video, wrote “I love Christmas in London!”.

This is now Mike’s fourth Christmas at Hamleys, working eight-hour shifts to entertain customers and passers-by after coming to the UK from South Africa in 2015 to pursue his dream of being on the stage.

Famous actors and showbiz professionals have used social media to wish him support.

“Huge respect to these performers. We have all done these kinds of jobs. I would be proud to cast/book/recommend an actor showing this kind of commitment any time of the year,” tweeted John Byrne, a columnist and career adviser for industry newspaper The Stage.

Amanda Abbington, who plays Dr Watson’s wife Mary Morstan in hit BBC show Sherlock, said simply “I love him”.

So does this new attention give Mike hope for future roles?

“It’s all about working hard, but it’s definitely exciting and hopefully this is the ball starting to roll,” he said.

PA Media

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