A South Jersey girl has become an internet sensation after her mother posted a video of the 8-year-old's "standout" performance in her school's Christmas program.
Before a packed house, Lucy Cardillo wowed the audience with an animated performance, dancing and singing with gusto as she shimmied on stage with classmates at Resurrection Catholic School in Cherry Hill. The audience loved it, cheering on the third grader.
Her mother, Kelly, decided to post the video on Facebook at the urging of friends. Normally, she keeps family postings private.
"This is my daughter at her school Christmas concert," she wrote on Facebook. "She brought the house down. See if you can guess which one she is."
The video has gotten more than eight million views since Cardillo posted it last Saturday. She has received thousands of Facebook friend requests.
It only takes a few seconds into the video to pick out Lucy, a blonde in a red dress and white tights with a JoJo Siwa bow in her hair. Flanked by about two dozen youngsters on center stage, she performed every move with enthusiasm, throwing her arms out and twisting from side to side for the performance of "Blitzen's Boogie," a children's song about a "boogie woogie" for a reindeer.
"That's her personality. But she doesn't always perform like that," said her mother. "I think she just really felt that song."
Performing runs in the genes. Older brother Benny, 10, does theater. Kelly, a dance major, and her husband, a classical musician, graduated from the University of the Arts.
Lucy, who attended school elsewhere last year, almost skipped the Christmas program performance last week at her new school. The youngster didn't want to miss a holiday party for her jazz ensemble, which was at about the same time, her mother said. She was able to attend both activities.
Her mother said she was pleasantly surprised that the audience reacted so positively to Lucy's zealous performance. At a previous school, Lucy was asked to tone down her enthusiasm in performances, her mother said.
"She's a natural performer. She's very comfortable being on stage," said Kelly Cardillo, 38.
Lucy seems to be taking her moment of fame in stride, her mother says. She hopes to possibly meet her idol, Siwa, a teen dancer and YouTube sensation who appeared on Dance Moms with her mother.
"She's not too fazed," said Kelly. "She's excited about Christmas."