I’m not sure what the world loves more: cute robots, or cute kids. Luckily, 10 year old Tord from Norway is a little bit of both. A few weeks ago Tord became the latest celebrity to be created by the [Your Nation Here]’s Got Talent show. Competing against contestants many times his own age, Tord won the hearts of even the toughest judges with his remarkable robot dancing. Inspired by previous dancing champions from the show, Tord developed his ‘popping and locking’ style in just seven months! Watch his amazing and fun performance in the video below. Who taught Tord to perform these incredible moves? Well, as he describes around 5:06, the young man learned by watching YouTube. Ha! I love our internet culture. Love it.
I’m skipping you straight to Tord’s dancing performance at 1:20 as the video is in Norwegian and I’m not sure many of you will be able to understand the dialogue. I’ve included an unofficial translated transcript after the clip for those interested. But who cares what they’re saying, it’s the dancing that’s cool. Go watch it now!
Tord: I have tried to dance like him [Arnfinn], it’s kind of a robot dance.
Presenter: It’s always great to have your family as a support and back up backstage. So, should we go out and take Bergen and Norway and blow them away, exactly as Arnfinn did last year? Good luck.
Judge Adil: What’s your name ?
Tord: My name is Tord.
Judge Adil. What do you do?
Tord: I’m going to dance, popping.
Judge Adil: Popping!
Judge Mia: So great.
Judge Adil: Why did you start with popping?
Tord: Because I watched Arnfinn.
Judge Adil: So you got inspired by him?
Presenter: Had he danced much before he watched Arnfinn?
Family: Not at all.
Judge Adil: So you have danced pretty much for one year?
Tord: Nope, 7 months.
Judge Adil: 7 months…Ok, we look forward to seeing you, the stage is yours.
[Judge Adil runs onstage to celebrate with Tord]
Judge Alex: I was afraid that Adil should shake him into pieces.
Judge Adil: Oh my god, you are my favorite in Bergen! Do you know! I’m lost for words right now,you do everything right,everything, you show absolutely everything, we’re going to work together.
Judge Alex: I look at your head, stuck to your body,and then your body starts moving. Just fantastic.
Judge Mia: You have practiced for 7 months, you have really selected something you are really good at. This is just the thing we want to see in Norway’s Got Talent.
All Judges: Yes. Yes. Yes.
Judge Adil: Congratulations. you are in Norway’s Got Talent! Watching you makes me happy!
Judge Mia: Some finish it was.
Judge Adil: He has practiced only for 7 months. He did everything right. I feel queasy. I mean, I’m not well. [Laughter]
Judge Adil: Him! Him. You must watch out for this guy, he is dangerous. Did you only spend 7 months at it? Did you learn from someone else, or how did you learn?
Tord: Through YouTube.
Arnfinn is referenced so many times in the segment so I bet a few of you are curious as to what his performances were like. Here’s a video of the best of Arnfinn during his appearances in 2010. Arnfinn was very popular for his astounding robot dance routines:
Generally when I see people mimicking robots I primarily think of it as an example of how important robots have become in the global culture. For Tord, however, I think the real story is that he saw someone with a skill that inspired him (Arnfinn) and then used internet resources to learn that skill. And in just 7 months! That rapid sharing and learning is one of the great benefits of internet culture, and is a reason we’ve seen so much innovation in robot dancing in the past. Competitors in every field (not just robot dancing) are able to share their ideas all over the world using video share channels like YouTube. This helps them communicate, challenge each other, and improve their skills. So watch out, Tord! Somewhere out there is an even younger kid who saw your performance and is inspired to do even better. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
[screen capture and video credits: Norway’s Got Talent via heydia and etkar2006 on YouTube]
*special thanks to heydia for posting the translation