‘Dancing is her therapy’ – Hull schoolgirl follows brother’s footsteps and joins Autism’s Got Talent
Skye Richards will make the trip to London to perform at the annual Autism’s Got Talent – like her brother did last year
An 11-year-old girl from Hull will be following in her big brother’s footsteps by competing in this year’s Autism’s Got Talent.
Skye Richards has been selected to perform in the Anna Kennedy Talent Show at the Mermaid Theatre, in London, in October. The announcement is a dream come true for the aspirational dancer, who uses the arts to express herself after experiencing difficulties with social communication, interaction skills and sensory stimuli.
For many young people with autism, like Skye, self-esteem and exclusion can be a major problem. However, without even having to speak, Skye can use her passion for dance as her way of expressing herself.
Since Skye took her first steps, she would dance around the house. Seeing her enthusiasm, her parents later enrolled Skye at a dance school when she was old enough.
Speaking to Hull Live, Skye’s mum Caroline Medforth described the importance of dance to her daughter.
Despite being diagnosed as autistic as late as November 2022, Skye had been showing behaviours of autism since the age of seven with struggles around social communication and interactions.
She was also diagnosed with dyslexia and dyscalculia, meaning that everyday lessons such as English and Maths can be a struggle. However, anything expressive such as sport and dance will see Skye come alive.
At Anlaby Studios, where she currently practices, Skye has made lots of friends and learned how to integrate into a social circle.
“As a parent, I absolutely love seeing Skye blossom and being herself,” said Caroline. “I’m proud of her achievements in being a junior associate at the Royal Ballet 2022-2023 and as a Ballet Boost associate and now in her third year.”
Skye’s brother Logan participated last year as a performer.
The event went down really well for Logan, as well as making friends that he still stays in contact with today. This year is Skye’s turn to take to the stage when she performs her street dance routine.
Caroline said: “To be chosen to perform at Autism’s Got Talent is a fantastic achievement as there were over 250 applicants for this year’s show and only 20 were selected. Skye has an amazing relationship with her dance principal and all her teachers at dance class, and we are so very grateful.”
Skye’s dance teacher at Anlaby Studios, Scarlett Hird, is helping choreograph the routine that Skye will be performing in London.
“I have been teaching Skye since 2021 in both Street and Tap,” Scarlett said. “Skye is always focused in her lessons and is an absolute pleasure to teach.
“She has made vast improvements in the two years I have known her due to her determination, perseverance and the passion she has for dancing. I have choreographed this piece for her performance at AGT to highlight Skye’s strength and hard work.
“Skye comes alive on the stage and loves performing in front of an audience so I’m sure you are in for a treat! I really hope they enjoy her performance.”
The 12th annual Autism’s Got Talent will take place on Saturday, October 14.