After receiving Alesha Dixon’s Golden Buzzer on Series 11 of Britain’s Got Talent, dance troupe MerseyGirls made it to the finals in 2017 before returning for BGT: The Champions this September. MerseyGirls have performed for the past two years at BBC Summer Social and earlier this year, they attended the world’s biggest dance event MOVE IT, where they held their own dance class. Talking with MerseyGirls, we find out about competing on Britain’s Got Talent, appearing at MOVE IT and their meet-ups with Swatch UK.
What was it like auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent and receiving Alesha Dixon’s Golden Buzzer?
When we were auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent, we were really nervous because it was the last chance I (Julia) was going to be dancing with MerseyGirls before my surgery for my scoliosis. When we got the golden buzzer, it was the most surreal moment of all of our lives! It meant there was another chance for us to dance again together because of my surgery which would have meant I would have had to stop dancing.
How was it returning for BGT: The Champions?
Returning for BGT: The Champions was so exciting and such an honour, but it did come with being very nervous as our previous time being on BGT went so well, so we wanted to show them that we had improved, and we were deserving of being there. It was also the first time Simon was going to see Julia dance after her surgery, so we wanted to do him proud, but it was honestly one of the most fun and exciting things we’ve ever done!
What has the audience response been like to both times on the show?
The reaction from the public the first time was huge and completely life-changing! Both times we have had people suffering from scoliosis or illness message us saying we had changed their lives and inspired them! It’s the most incredible feeling knowing we have helped others because that’s one of our main goals! The scoliosis community especially showed their support, and it was so overwhelming the amount of people we had supporting us!
How was it getting back into “normal life” after appearing on the show in 2017?
Well, once the show had finished I (Julia) had my surgery a month after, so life was still crazy. I then had to recover before I got back to where I was. I think the experience was so life-changing for us all that it will never be back to ‘normal’, but we don’t want to be normal!! We love the craziness of it all and never want it to end!
What advice would you give dancers applying for a talent show?
If you’re a dancer and you want to apply for a talent show, our main piece of advice would be to just give it your all!! Don’t let the nerves get the better of you and don’t have regrets! As long as you do your best, that’s all that matters! Just make sure you have the confidence and you believe in yourselves because everyone is amazing in their own way!
How was it filming the video with Hacker T Dog?
Filming with Hacker was an incredible experience. He is such a legend and we’re so grateful we got to meet him and work with him. We hope we get to work with him again in the future!
How’s the experience appearing on shows such as This Morning?
It’s always so good to go on This Morning, Ruth Langsford actually keeps in touch with us and has been particularly supportive! It just feels like a chat at home, it’s very comfortable. The whole thing is just so surreal, I don’t think we will ever get used to it!
What is it like performing at BBC Summer Social and what’s the atmosphere like there?
We’ve performed at the Summer Social two years in a row, and each time the atmosphere has been amazing. The crowd were so energetic and we got to meet some people who had travelled there which we always love to do – we love meeting our supporters!
Can you tell us about appearing at MOVE IT?
MOVE IT was incredible! We couldn’t walk around without people coming up to us and asking for photos, which is so surreal to us and I don’t think we will ever get used to it! We taught our first ever dance class there and it was so much fun! We also didn’t pick out or single any dancers out individually, as we wanted it to be about having fun and not being afraid to mess up rather than being about who the best dancer was! Seeing so many smiley faces doing our own choreography felt amazing, the atmosphere was something else! It’s where our love for teaching came from!!
Who choreographs your routines and how often do you rehearse together?
We actually choreograph all of our dances ourselves. We’ve always loved doing it ourselves because we can incorporate everyone’s strengths and show off our individual creativity. We just bounce off each other when we choreograph dances! We like to rehearse as much as possible! Obviously, we all have individual commitments so it can be hard, but we usually try to rehearse most weekends.
What do you enjoy about the meet-ups with Swatch UK?
Swatch are an amazing company and always make us feel welcome whenever we talk to them or meet with them. Their meet-ups they arrange are always organised and they make sure we are able to see and speak to everyone that comes which is really important to us.
You released a charity single called When We Dance Again, can you tell us about this and are there plans to release more music?
A few years ago, we released a single called When We Dance Again, which was written by an amazing guy called Paul Holden about Julia’s incredible story and how when she was going through surgery, we were all waiting for her on the other side ready to dance with her again! Most of us all love singing and would love to release more music so that would definitely be an option for the future!
When did you each start dancing and how did you get into it?
We all started dancing when we were very young, between the ages of about two and four. Alice and Becky both started because they were both really shy when they were younger and would just cry at any new situation. Julia used to copy Alice when she was younger and so that’s how she got into dance as well. We’ve all grown up dancing together and so we feel more like family.
Do you have any events coming up that you’ll be attending and what are your plans for the rest of the year?
We are touring with a few acts from past BGT years which we are super excited for! We’re dancing and teaching workshops all over the country which is amazing because we never thought we would be able to, but thanks to Simon, we can! We’d love to have our own TV show, how amazing would that be?!
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