Boy With Autism Nails Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' to Win Contest: 'He Watches His Videos For Hours on End'
A boy with autism who struggles to communicate has become an internet celebrity for nailing Michael Jackson’s funked-out dance performance in “Thriller.”
Eight-year-old William Ryan wanted to compete in a local webcam talent contest while his family vacationed in Britain’s St. Ives seaside resort.
“The first thing he said was ‘Mummy, can I do Thriller?’’’ mom Gemma Ryan wrote on Facebook.
And so he did, mimicking the Gloved One’s intricate moves on a paved walkway as oblivious tourists stroll by.
William pays them no mind as he struts, turns and tosses his hips whilst his mum plays the hit Jackson song on her cell phone.
Online, his mother wrote that he “continues to struggle to make friends but about eighteen months ago his Dad introduced him (via YouTube) to the wonders of Michael Jackson and he watched his videos for hours on end and learnt all his routines by heart."
William has never taken a dance class because they intimidate him, and he fights to learn and to talk to others at school, his mother said.
But dancing unlocks something deep inside him that allows him to kick up his heels and escape his emotional chains.
“I’ve been reading your comments to him (and) it has blown his mind that so many people like him,” she wrote on Aspects Holidays’ website, which sponsored the webcam competition and proclaimed William the winner.
As part of his winning haul, William received a basketful of goodies and a gift card.
His family will also receive a free vacation rental in February, courtesy of the travel booking firm that owns the webcam.
“Thank you all so much from the bottom of our hearts,” the boy’s mom wrote.