Woman secretly filmed dancing at bus stop wins theatre role

  • @matildbattersby

Waiting for the bus can be pretty tedious. But a young woman from Eastleigh who decided to pass the time on the pavement by tapping her feet, swaying her hips and dancing to herself can have had no idea it would lead to overnight fame and a role in a stage play.

Ellie Cole was secretly filmed busting a groove as she waited to catch a bus on Bishopstoke Road, Eastleigh. The footage was uploaded to YouTube in April with ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” overlaid – and the secretary, 35, who was actually jiving to Alesha Dixon’s “Knock Down”, became an internet sensation after it was watched by nearly a million people.

The viral, titled “Eastleigh’s Got Talent”, shows Ms Cole enjoying the music totally oblivious to the fact that she is being filmed. But the three minutes of fame it earned her have led to the former performing arts student being offered a role in new musical AH Men at The Point Theatre, Eastleigh.

The show’s writer and director Lynne Paris spotted the clip and decided to cast Ms Cole in the musical on the strength of it. “When I saw the video at the bus stop I saw an authenticity in Ellie that I knew I could work with to develop her," she said.

"I was staging AH Men in Eastleigh, I noticed Ellie lived in Eastleigh, too. She was dancing at a bus stop, which is exactly the sort of thing I do all the time to everyone's embarrassment.

"I tracked her down through Facebook and invited her to the final rehearsal and did some real time coaching with her that paid off. She was great and gelled with the rest of the AH Men cast straight away.

Ms Cole said: “I find it hard to believe what happened with the video. It’s like ‘wow, why me?’ I’m just a normal everyday person who happens to like dancing at bus stops.

"I have my headphones in every day on the way back from work and I just can’t help myself – I just dance.”

Ms Paris has extended an invitation to Ms Cole to continue to appear in AH Men which is billed as a "touching love story which portrays a painful irony" and centres on the wife of a man who transitions to the female gender.