A HEREFORD dancer said performing with pop superstar Rita Ora at the Eurovision Song Contest was a dream come true.

Connor Pearson had the honour of dancing with Rita during her new song Praising You during one of last week's semi-finals. 

The 24-year-old also performed in the grand final at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

Eurovision was staged in the UK for the first time in 25 years due to last year's winner, Ukraine being unable to host it due to the ongoing war with Russia.

The BBC reported that last Saturday's final was watched by an average of 9.9 million people, making it the most watched final in the show's 67 year history.


"Dancing at Eurovision was a surreal, pinch me moment," said Mr Pearson.

"Eurovision is known as the biggest televised non sporting event and to be a part of that was unbelievable.

"Getting the opportunity to dance for Rita Ora and her new single ‘Praising You’ was a dream come true.

"I’ve said for years that she is one of the artists that I would love the chance to work with. I was also given the chance by Rita’s team to be a part of a flash mob in Liverpool city centre to promote her new song.

"Millions of people watched both the semis and even more watched the grand final but the only people I cared about impressing and making proud was my family."

Hereford Times: Connor Pearson is a dancer from Hereford who performed at the Eurovision Song ContestConnor Pearson is a dancer from Hereford who performed at the Eurovision Song Contest (Image: Gray Lee Brame)

Mr Pearson started dancing when he was aged seven or eight, starting at All Seasons Dance & Leisure before moving to Nicola's School of Dance, where he trained in ballroom and Latin.

However, the 24-year-old experienced bullying at secondary school because of his dancing.

"I went to Whitecross School but I attended there for a year due to the bullying getting bad," said Mr Pearson.

"My family moved to Bartestree so I could attend Bishops however the bullying never eased up. I was verbally, physically and emotionally abused because everyone saw it weird that a boy was dancing.

"It got to the point where I was taking weeks off school at a time, isolating myself in between lessons and we even considered home schooling. I suffered a lot with anxiety and depression back then to the point where I even thought about quitting dance.

"I’m beyond proud of myself and glad for persevering through it all because if I had given up and let them win I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today and if it wasn’t for my family I wouldn’t have managed to get through it."

Mr Pearson later studied other genres at Hereford Sixth Form College, and knew that dance was the career path he wanted to take.

He discovered Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts where he successfully landed a place on a three-year BA Honours Dance course.

After graduating in 2019, Mr Pearson has completed three cruise ships contracts with Celebrity Cruises where he has sailed the Caribbean, Europe, the Baltic and some of the Mediterranean as well as doing a transatlantic crossing.

He has also performed on hit TV show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown as well as working on a pantomime, before performing on Eurovision.

"Having Liverpool host Eurovision was remarkable," added Mr Pearson.

"Liverpool is one of my favourite cities in the world and I may be biased because I lived there for three years.

"The atmosphere during the lead up to Eurovision and during the shows was amazing and inside the arena it was euphoric and just felt like a dream."

The show was won by Loreen, who represented Sweden with her hit song, Tattoo. The UK, meanwhile finished second bottom with Mae Muller's I Wrote a Song.