Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ten-year-old Bucs dancer becomes Internet sensation

Ten-year-old Christian Bottger loves being in the spotlight.

It's a good thing, too, because videos of him dancing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders at Sunday's game have made him an Internet sensation.

"He's in awe," said Christian's dad, Ed Bottger, the video production manager for the team.

Videos of Christian's Gangnam Style routine, which he performed alongside the team's mascot, Capt. Fear, have been featured on popular sports blogs such as the Big Lead and have attracted attention from TV shows such as Ellen and Good Morning America.

Christian, dubbed "Little Fear" by the team, is set to appear on the Today show around 8 a.m. today, his dad said. Christian took his first-ever plane ride with his parents Monday night to New York and hopes to meet Bruno Mars — his favorite singer and a fellow guest — after the show.

"He likes the attention, and he just loves performing," Bottger said. "He likes being out in front of everybody."

Christian, who has two older sisters, lives with his family in Largo.

Bottger said he — and some other impressed fans at the game — posted videos of Christian's performance on the Web.

"I'm shocked. I really am," Bottger said about the sensation the videos created. "But I knew it was popular in the stadium. You could hear the roar of the crowd."

Bottger said Christian, who is a fifth-grade student at Fuguitt Elementary School in Largo, has been dancing competitively for five years. He has participated in the Bucs' Junior Cheerleader program for the past three years.

During Christian's first year in the program, he was the only boy who danced to a Michael Jackson medley with about 300 girls, his dad said.

The instructor was so impressed with him, she invited Christian to do a routine with the cheerleaders, Bottger said.

Christian has performed at three games so far and will perform at least at one more, Bottger said.

Christian's dance teacher at StarStruck Dance Studio in Largo, Stefanie Valentine, said she isn't surprised by how popular Christian has become. She said he is never nervous about performing and practices his dancing about six days a week.

"He was born for this," Valentine said. "He's such a star, and he's so special. If you have met him, you don't forget him. I knew this was going to happen. I'm so happy and so proud."

Times TV/media critic Eric Deggans, staff writer Danielle Paquette and news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Christian Bottger of Largo dances Sunday with the Bucs cheerleaders at halftime. Today, he will be on NBC’s Today show.

MIKE CARLSON | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Christian Bottger of Largo dances Sunday with the Bucs cheerleaders at halftime. Today, he will be on NBC’s Today show.

Ten-year-old Bucs dancer becomes Internet sensation

12/10/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 5:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]