Prepare to meet 6-year-old Johanna Colon, a small tap dancer who packs a pretty powerful punch. The young star has become an internet sensation after channeling her inner Aretha Franklin to ask for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Johanna’s mother, Elissa Colon, captured the video during her daughter’s dance recital debut. The Knightdale, North Carolina audience went wild over Johanna’s sass, and subsequently, so did the internet.
Johanna was positioned on stage with her dance mates, wearing a pink and black dance costume. The dancers began with their backs facing away from the audience, waiting for the fun music of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” to begin.
Immediately, Johanna captivated the audience with her exaggerated dance moves and spunky personality. The audience couldn’t stop laughing, completely endeared by the little one’s dramatic flair.
“She practiced very hard,” Elissa said in an interview. “She would make me play it on Pandora constantly.”
“All eyes were on her from the beginning,” Elissa laughed. “As soon as she walked out, everybody was just floored.”
Johanna, who has been taking dance lessons since she was 2 years old, received a standing ovation from the crowd of over 400 people. Her mother posted the video to share with family and friends, never expecting the 56 million views the video has since received.
“I posted it for family and friends because we’re originally from New York, and I did not expect it to take off like this,” Elissa explained. “We told Johanna about it, and she’s excited, but she really doesn’t totally understand.”
Once Johanna learned a bit about Aretha Franklin from her mother, she reportedly amped up the attitude. “She really didn’t know who Aretha Franklin was,” Elissa explained, “and when I told her about her and played it, she said, ‘Ooh, she’s got a lot of sass, mommy!’”
Elissa says her daughter is always on the move, dancing with delight throughout the home. “She doesn’t get nervous at all,” Elissa shared.
“She dances around the house constantly. I can’t keep her still. She does her sassy dance all over the place.”