If you want to know how dance moves have changed in pop music since the 1950s, you’ve come to the right place. And there’s no need to read books on the subject or watch hundreds of videos. Balance Unity managed to cram its entire history into a frenetic 90-second audition for the 2016 series of Britain’s Got Talent. The 17-year-old, whose real name is Taylor Goodridge, pulled off a time travelling feat that rivalled Back to the Future’s Doc Brown.
“Hello, ladies and gentlemen,” the robotic voice says, with Balance mouthing along. “Today, I’m going to take you back. Way back…” As Balance’s body shook from the impact of being transported back in time, the audience cheered with anticipation. Something extraordinary was happening, but nobody was quite sure what it would look like.
Suddenly, we were back in the 1950s. As Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” played in the background, Balance gave his version of The King’s iconic ‘rubber legs’ dance. The judges, David Walliams and Amanda Holden, grinned with delight as this young man brilliantly encapsulated the excitement of Elvis’s amazing America with his unique stage performance. Balance then shot forward a couple of decades, arriving at disco and the John Travolta arm thrusting associated with “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees.
Next, we were moved to the 1980s and “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. Balance gave a perfect moonwalk before showcasing some of the ‘zombie’ moves from the ground-breaking video of the track released by Jackson in 1983. Into the 1990s, we were given some classic MC Hammer moves, with presenters Ant and Dec joining in to shout “Hammer time!”
In an unexpected shift in tone, a voiceover came from Susan Boyle, which caused Simon Cowell to clap with amusement. Somehow, he managed to dance to her track “I Dreamed a Dream”. The music was broken by the sound of a phone ringing. Balance pointed to Alesha Dixon as if enquiring whether it was her phone. Then, the sounds of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” began. By the end of the performance, as he danced to “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silentó, Dixon was on her feet dancing along.
Balance collapsed to the floor as if in exhaustion at the blistering journey of time he had just been through. Meanwhile, everyone watching rose to their feet to acknowledge what a remarkable performance it had been. No matter their music era of choice, Balance somehow managed to get something for everyone in the short 90-second performance, which has been viewed over 6 million times on YouTube.
Balance Unity went on to reach the semi-finals, putting on a performance that included “I Feel Good” by James Brown, “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa and “Hey Ya” by Outkast. This performance has been viewed over 2.5 million times on YouTube. Balance then advanced to the final, finishing 10th overall. If you would like to see more from Balance Unity, you can follow him on Facebook.