A talented young dancer has overcome autism to land a scholarship at a performing arts school.

Callum Kirrage, nine, of Thornton Heath, also has ADHD and suffers from anxiety – but his passion for street and breakdancing has propelled him to a spot at Pineapple Dance Studios.

It follows him wowing judges in two Autism’s Got Talent competitions in London and Stockon-on-Tees.

Callum’s first contest was in May last year at the Mermaid Theatre in Blackfriars and his moves were so good the charity than runs the competition, Anna Kennedy Online, invited him to star in its talent roadshow.

Not one to be fazed by a challenge, Callum was the youngest performer to hit the stage at the Stockton Arts Centre on September 16.

His mum, Heidi Kirrage, of Mossat Road, said: “He was jumping up and down going crazy [when he was invited].

“He was a bit anxious about being on the stage but you would never have known it.

“It is an amazing thing because they get to be around other people on the autistic spectrum who have amazing talents and they don’t feel so on their own.”

Croydon Guardian:

Callum Kirrage wowed judges at two Autism’s Got Talent competitions

Ms Kirrage first heard of the charity through a friend in her carers’ support group in December 2014.

She sent a video of Callum dancing to the talent contest and by January 2015, the charity, which promotes equality for children and adults living with a disability, had called her to secure the Downsview Primary School pupil’s place in the spotlight.

Then, four weeks ago, Callum’s impressive head spins and backflips secured him a scholarship at Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden, where he now trains every Sunday.

He also trains at Prospects Dance Studio, run by dance troupe Flawless, every Saturday.

His proud mum said: “He struggles to fit in, Callum – he finds it very hard at school and socially – so to have something like this that he can go to every week for a year will give him loads of opportunities.”

Callum, who was adopted from Russian parents in 2008, is also part of a dance team at his school in Upper Norwood.

Callum first began dancing as a five-year-old when his mum took him to a weekly class at Beanies Café in Croydon to let him burn off some energy.

His hobby has now turned into a passion and a career ambition and has restored his self-confidence, according to Ms Kirrage.

She said: “We didn’t realise how much he was going to like it and suddenly it just became a total passion of his.

“Now it is all he wants to do, he wants to be a dancer or a dance teacher when he is older.

“Dancing has just brought another side out of him. He’s gone from a child who calls himself names and says he is rubbish, to suddenly doing something that makes him so happy.

“When you see him dance every care is gone, it just kind of releases every bit of stress in him.”