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Watch This 10-year-old Absolutely Dominate a Cruise Dance Competition

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 2018-09-12 Tanner Saunders
© TheEllenShow / Youtube
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For many, the idea of being forced to enter a cruise ship dance competition is a total nightmare. But for a kid with serious dance moves, it might just be a dream come true.

Enter Ryan Starr, a fearless boy who not only entered a recent dance competition on a Carnival Cruise, but totally dominated it. Starr, who has now gone viral, can be seen in a video captured by a fellow cruiser dancing like a professional to Silentó’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).” The kid — who we’d like to nominate for So You Think You Can Dance — hits every move in perfect synchronization with the beat, all while onlookers are losing their minds at the spectacle.

After the video went viral, Ellen DeGeneres, America’s dancing sweetheart, invited Starr on her show to recreate the scene and catch the story behind the video.

“I never thought I’d go viral at the age of ten,” he told Ellen before revealing that he’s been dancing since he was three and is actually a cruise fanatic. The video was shot on his 13th cruise. “It’s one of the only vacations we do because — you know, like — when I was a baby I enjoyed it.”

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With moves like that it’s no surprise that Starr was treated like a celebrity for the rest of the cruise. “People were coming up to me asking for autographs,” he told Ellen. “It was kind of awkward.”

But that’s not where the celebrity experience ended on Starr’s cruise. “On the very last day I went to the VIP party and I got rewarded the youngest platinum member,” he said. Platinum members receive special perks and discounts on all Carnival cruises.

It’s not a proper cruise without a dance party on the deck and it’s certainly not an episode of Ellen without a surprise from the host. At the end of Starr’s appearance she surprised him with a trip to the Mexican Riviera on the maiden voyage of Carnival’s newest ship, the Panorama.

Hopefully Starr keeps dancing on all of his future cruises because he’s already got his eye set on a bigger prize. “When I get older, if I become diamond, I’m going to bring my wife on board and get her diamond, too.”

We can only imagine the dancing that will occur at that wedding reception.

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