Deaf dancer Chris Fonseca showed some smooth street dance moves on The Greatest Dancer, getting a rapturous reception. Chris lost his hearing at age two after a bout of meningitis, but he is able to detect vibrations while using hearing aids, which is the basis for his routines.
The 26-year-old Londoner danced to “God’s Plan” by Drake for his audition and displayed a creative and technically skilled dance routine, which won over the required 75% of the audience within the first minute. When the one-way mirror opened Chris got the judges and audience on their feet and they gave a standing ovation at the end, as you can see in the video below.
Judge Oti Mabuse had plenty of praise for Chris, saying “I loved that so, so much. I enjoyed the popping, the locking, the tutting, the fact that it was lyrical. I loved every single bit of it.” Glee star Matthew Morrison was also a big fan, saying “You were so extremely musical. For someone who can’t hear the music, you became your own music. It was so beautiful to watch.”
English singer Cheryl added “you feel the music – it was an incredible thing to witness. That was absolutely stunning.” She also got a cheeky smile out of Chris by adding that he was “very handsome”. You can check out some more of Chris’s moves in the Noisey short film about him below.
Chris responded in sign language to the big praise from the judges, saying “It was an amazing experience. Through my dancing career I’ve faced so many barriers so this has been my opportunity to really show who I am, to show that I’m a deaf dancer but that I can absolutely do this.”
Chris’s inspirational story and amazing skills were a big hit with music lovers online, with his audition being viewed 2.3 million times and viewers adding comments such as “It takes something so very special, to have your own rhythm, beat and feel when you can’t hear anything, yet still project a good vibe and skill in dancing.”
Many viewers also pointed out the special moment when Chris’s brother proudly screamed “that’s my brother!” when he hit the 75% approval from the audience, adding comments such as “Aw when the mirror opened and his little bro screamed my heart dropped!”
Chris has kept busy in the industry since his appearance on the first season of The Greatest Dancer. He works as a dancer, choreographer and is also active as a charity campaigner, with one of his recent collaborations being with the SignHealth Charity for White Ribbon Day.
He’s also been quite active on the boards this year, working with the Greenwich Dockland International Festival last month, as well as appearing in the BSL-led cabaret event A Night in Sign, which enjoyed two sold out opening events in Bristol and Chester, as well as an upcoming date in London in October. If you would like to see more from Chris Fonseca, follow him on Instagram. You can also visit his official website for more information.