Meet the talented South Shields 10-year-old who has found internet fame with his sign language dance routine
Ten-year-old Kayden Ali has spent the coronavirus pandemic entertaining residents on Gordon Road during weekly street parties, hosted by Stephen Sullivan.
Held every Sunday since May, the events have featured different singers each week in an effort to unite the community during lockdown.
And Bamburgh School pupil Kayden has been dancing at every one – using sign language variant Makaton to sign the words to popular songs.
Although the young entertainer is fully verbal, he learned the simpler form of sign language as a baby when it was unclear how his Down’s Syndrome would affect his speech.
Since then the ‘born entertainer’ has been using it to communicate with his non-verbal classmates and enjoys incorporating it into his dance routines.
Proud mum Sharon Martin, 48, from Harton Moor, captured one of his street party performances of The Greatest Showman song, ‘This Is Me,’ on video which attracted 102,000 views when it was shared on Facebook.
"Kayden has Down’s Syndrome but doesn’t let it hold him back at all,” she said.
"He is a born entertainer and loves being in school plays.
"Stephen Sullivan has been doing street parties and Kayden loves to get up and make people laugh and be entertaining.
“He has a big personality so he has absolutely loved the Sunday parties where he has been calling the bingo and singing with the singers that are on.
“‘He loves the song ‘This Is Me’, so I filmed it and put it on Facebook. I didn’t expect it to take off the way it did!
“The reaction has been amazing. In two days it had 70,000 views and now it has 102,000 views."
The video also racked up a raft of praise for Kayden, who is looking forward to the final street party due to be held on Sunday, September 6.
Mum Sharon, who is Kayden's full time carer, added: “He is very outgoing and sociable.
"I am very proud of him.”