Stewartstown dancer Fred wows the BGT judges

Stewartstown dancer Fred Whitehouse with his group CountryVive at the Britain's Got Talent auditions in Birmingham.
Stewartstown dancer Fred Whitehouse with his group CountryVive at the Britain's Got Talent auditions in Birmingham.

A STEWARTSTOWN dancer has described his hit performance in the auditions for the latest series of Britain’s Got Talent as an unforgettable experience.

The 29 year-old line dancer was part of the 17 strong group ‘CountryVive’ that got all four Britain’s Got Talent judges on their feet, with an energetic performance leaving the audience of thousands in a frenzy.

CountryVive is made up of 17 of the top country dancers in the UK, including Shane McKeever from Crossmaglen and Laura Carvill from Armagh, while the rest are from England, Scotland and Wales.

The act started with Shane walking out alone to face the judges who believed he was a solo act.

But when the music and bass kicked in, he was soon joined by Fred and the rest of the troop from the wings all dressed in black.

At one stage Fred and the other three male dancers threw their cowboy hats to the judges, with all except grumpy Simon Cowell putting them on and letting out a few ‘yeeee-haaaas’.

Speaking after their thumbs up from the judges Fred said they never expected a reaction like this.

“It was crazy,” Fred admitted. “I wasn’t that nervous but dancing in front of Simon Cowell was a strange experience and the reaction we received from the audience was just ridiculous. Something I will never forget.

“Our idea was to hit them by surprise by letting Shane go out and hold the stage by himself as we then exploded on. To get Simon standing up and the others all tapping their feet blew our minds. Line-dancing is usually looked down upon so to get these guys on their feet and have them giving us such amazing comments was unbelievable.

“We were looking to break down a few stereotypes about line-dancing and I think we certainly did that.”

Fred, who is the only male ever to have won all divisions at the World Championships consecutively in the open age division, is one of the more experienced members of the group that ranges in age from 15 to 32. The Stewartstown man first started dancing aged 16 when he was taken to a line-dancing class by his sisters Kelly and Rose Marie.

He also progressed to other styles through the years, including, hip hop, jive, cha cha, waltz and many more.

Now over a decade later, Fred runs a club with his sisters in Coalisland called Dynamics.