A teenage dancer from Leeds has been presented with a BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards, for helping to raise over £300,000 for charity.
14-year-old Junior Frood was presented with his award by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace recently, in a meeting that was televised on BBC. Junior, whose own experiences of bullying led him to become an anti-bullying advocate, launched his own online campaign, #BoysCanDance, in the hopes of getting rid of the stigma of male dancers.
His mum, Karen, said: “As part of the award, Junior was surprised with a private dance lesson with X Factor winners Rak-su, a video message from Jason Derulo, and was given the chance to perform with his idols, Little Mix.”
Bullies tormented Junior so badly throughout his primary school years that his family had to move from their home. The teenager was beaten up and subjected to verbal taunts, due to his passion for street dance, which he’d started doing aged three.
Since then, Junior - who taught himself to dance watching videos on YouTube, and was named UK Freestyle Dance Champion - has fought back, with his love of dance taking him on tour with Justin Bieber, and on to the West End, alongside Amanda Holden.
Karen added: “Meeting Prince William and Kate was a dream of his, and he loved getting to speak with them about Princess Diana’s love of dancing, and how young Prince George and Princess Charlotte are also loving their dance lessons. If he can get approval from the future King of England, then it’s definitely okay for #BoysToDance.