Film career for Orpington boy who’s got to dance
Â©Chris Lobina for Sky1
Eight months ago Akai Osei-Mansfield was an ordinary 10-year-old with an extraordinary talent. Now he’s £100,000 richer and has become a film and theatre star.
The body-popping youngster, from Orpington, wowed the judges on Sky’s Got to Dance in February and picked up the top prize for his unbelievable moves.
Speaking to the Times about his amazing journey since winning, he said: “It’s been really hectic. I haven’t touched the money yet. I haven’t thought about it. I don’t actually know what I’ll do with it.”
After finishing the show, talent spotters quickly recruited him for roles in the film Street Dance 3D and the hip-hop musical Into the Hoods, at the Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall.
Talking about his role in Street Dance 3D, he said: “It was really fun because I haven’t done anything like it before. I’d definitely like to do more films. Into the Hoods was really fun too. I don’t know which I preferred, I want to do more of both.”
Asked if his school friends badger him to perform, he said: “No, I go to school to learn, not to entertain people.”
Now he has his own projects coming up, including the launch of a website and an audition for a bigger role in Street Dance the Movie 2.
The youngster added: “I like meeting people. They say ‘well done’ and that I’ve achieved so much for my age.”
He lists Michael Jackson and Usher among his favourite dancers. Looking to the future, he said: “I’d like to be an actor, a singer and a dancer. I’d like to go to America. I’m going to be doing more special appearances.”
His mother, Jenny Osei, 34, said: “We’re very proud of him. We never thought he would get this far. It has only just sunk in. It’s been such an amazing thing.”
Got To Dance series two is back in January next year. For more information, visit www.sky.com/dance
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