Last night, Britain’s Got Talent’s viewers at home, live studio audience, and famous judges were all moved to tears by teen dance troupe ‘Just Us’.
The five best friends performed a moving routine to Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song’ after 15-year-old Julia Carlile explained that they’d decided to audition as this was, quite literally, her last chance.
The teen dancer was born with scoliosis, which causes a curve of the spine, and Julia is due to undergo surgery to straighten her back later this year but the op will dramatically reduce her mobility – meaning that she will no longer be able to dance.
However, it has now been revealed that the group hope to win Britain’s Got Talent for the show’s £250,000 prize fund – which would allow for Julia to have the life-changing surgery in America.
A specialist in America is able to straighten scoliosis sufferers’ spines with a different kind of operation that doesn’t leave mobility so restricted – meaning that Julia will be able to continue dancing.
Speaking ahead of last night’s episode, Julia explained: “If we win I’d hope to fly to America, where I can get another kind of operation – called tethering surgery – that means I could dance for the rest of my life.
“It’s expensive, though, so I can’t afford it right now. We have saved £4,000 and we need $100,000 [just over £78,000].”
Speaking of her condition, Julia added: “I’ve had to wear a back brace since I was nine. I have this constant ache at the back of my spine. It kind of crushes your organs, too.
“If I do a certain move I might feel sharp pain, but dancing takes my mind off that. I used to always cover my back as I’ve got a hump, but the girls have helped me show everyone who I really am.”
After living for 15 years with the condition, Julia has now been forced to schedule the surgery at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to help her breathe.
She explained: “It’s basically spinal fusion, titanium rods in your back. There would be no movement in my side.
“I do loads of splits when I dance, so I wouldn’t be able to do that.”
Just Us impressed Simon Cowell and co. on last night’s episode of Britain’s Got Talent, with Alesha Dixon pressing the golden buzzer – sending them straight through to the live semi-finals.
Speaking about Julia, Alesha was close to tears as she shared: “When you are passionate about something, I cannot imagine not being able to do that.
“It really touched me.”
As well as Julia, Just Us features Julia’s 17-year-old sister, Alice, and their friends, 14-year-old Poppy Gerrard, 17-year-old Annie Winstanley and 16-year-old Rebecca Jordan.