Local ballroom dance champion kids Erik Linder, 11 and his dance partner Rickie Taylor, 10, have competed and won more competitions than they can count including winning at Nationals three times.
Not only are these little kids big on dancing, they are hoping to have a bigger impact as they are the inspiration behind the opening on First Class Ballroom of Everett, Washington—a center with a goal to share dancing with kids, youth and adults.
After receiving a phone call from Oprah Winfrey when they were just seven years old to fly to Chicago and dance on her show, Linder and Taylor have been an inspiration to kids, parents and people from around the world. Kids from far away places like France, Hong Kong and South Africa watch and learn from their videos on YouTube and dance instructors in places like Indonesia and Ireland use Linder and Taylor videos as training for their young students.
After taking the challenge by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move America campaign to get kids and families active, it only made sense to pursue the opening of the ballroom.
Right now they are inspiring and helping other kids prepare for an upcoming competition in Portland, Oregon.
First Class Ballroom officially opened its dance floor for teaching after Linder and Taylor returned from a trip to England in April. Here they danced at the world famous Junior Blackpool Dance Festival where they represented the United States on the Team Match, taking silver behind Japan.
In preparation they spent time with Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova, current World Ballroom Champions who represent the USA.
“We want to be world champions one day like Arunas and Katusha, but first we want to go to the beach to go swimming,” Linder and Taylor said.