A West Lothian schoolgirl was seen reducing her idol to tears during auditions for new TV show The Greatest Dancer when it airs on Saturday night.
Ellie, 14, of Livingston, was one of the first to dance in the competition, which sees Hopes perform in front of a giant mirror in a fake dance studio, in the hopes of gaining enough audiences.
Strictly Come Dancing pro Oti Mabuse was so captivated by young Ellie’s routine that she shed a tear.
Ellie said: “Ellie said:” I was really nervous before my audition.
“I kept repeating the dance in my head while stretching because sitting still would make me even more nervous, so I had to not think about it.
âThe dance captains are all adorable. I knew who they all were in advance. I watch Strictly every year too, so I was delighted that Oti was involved.
Ellie’s mother, Aileen, is hopeful that her daughter is doing well.
She said: âShe loves dancing. We realized Ellie had a natural talent around the age of six. Everyone looking at her was saying that she had something special.
âShe’s the greatest dancer because of her commitment.
“She gives up parties, she gives up evenings with friends. She gives up so many things.
âEllie makes us proud every day, not just as a dancer, but as the girl she is.
“When she takes the stage, I am in awe of her.”
Ellie started taking dance lessons at the age of six. She attended a local dance school in Livingston before moving to the Edinburgh Dance Academy.
Eliie said: âMy mother said when I was three years old I kept begging her to go dancing and do gymnastics and I haven’t stopped since.
âI regularly participate in competitions with my dance school and have won a few titles. My biggest achievement is representing Scotland and finishing third at the Dance World Cup with my contemporary solo last year.
With so much experience under her belt, Ellie’s nerves quickly deteriorated once she started dancing and didn’t think about the audience behind the mirror.
She added: “I knew there were people behind the mirror but I didn’t really think about it while I was dancing.”
When Ellie found out about The Greatest Dancer, she asked her mom to come on the show for her.
She said: âI’m always looking to push myself and try new things and just wanted to see how I was going to get out of it.
âI have no expectations for the competition because the level is so high and the other competitors are so incredible. I just want to keep working hard and learning from as many people as possible. As long as I do my best, I’ll be happy.
Ellie added: “I loved representing Scotland at the Dance World Cup and it’s always nice to attend events and be recognized as Scottish.”
The Greatest Dancer is Simon Cowell’s latest TV idea. Hosted by former Strictly Come Dancing champion Alesha Dixon and Diversity’s Jordan Banjo, the show will see dancers of all ages and dance styles compete for Â£ 50,000 and a chance to perform on Strictly.