Seven-year-old local ballroom dancer performs on OprahBY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR
Lake Stevens own Erik Linder and his dance partner Rickie Taylor performed on Oprah’s stage last week on Monday, May 12.
The seven-year-old ballroom dancers were greeted at the airport in Chicago by a stretch limousine and were whisked away to Harpo Studios. Upon arrival they were given their own green room to relax in and to eat some McDonalds Happy Meals, fruit, cookies and juice.
After rehearsing for a couple of hours, the limo took them to the Omni Hotel where the kids swam and had fun. The next morning they were picked up and taken to the studio to tape the show.
Linder and Taylor were treated like stars with all the pampering and cameras and a French make-up artist primping them for their Oprah debut.
After seating their parents, on the front row no less, the energized and excited audience was told that the show would focus on some very talented kids.
“It was surreal, I kept thinking that I would wake up from a dream,” Lars Linder, Erik’s dad said. “Erik and Rickie were doing what they love to do - sharing it with the rest of the world. It gave me an incredible sense of pride and accomplishment.”
Included in the line-up of kids was Erik and Rickie, a piano player, a guitar player and a drummer.
After a brief conversation with Oprah herself, Erik and Rickie got the show started by dancing the Jive for the cameras.
Each of the other kids performed and then took a seat next to Oprah and shared some of their experiences with her.
After the show the families got to meet Oprah and Erik shared some of his medals with her. Oprah told Erik that he should keep his medals because they are so special and asked if they could have a picture together instead. She placed the medals around his neck and posed for the camera.
Erik and Rickie have been performing together since 2006. They have received national recognition through not only the Oprah show but also Inside Edition.
They perform ballroom dancing in both Latin and Standard dance styles.
After taping the Oprah show they headed to Baltimore where they won medals in all divisions including Pre-Teen I Bronze and Silver Latin and Pre-Teen I Bronze & Silver Standard.