DANCING With The Stars top scorer Erica Cody has revealed how Samantha Mumba inspired her growing up – as she was just a black girl on Irish television.
The Dublin singer, 26, was wowing audiences on the hit RTE show and even received a standing ovation from the crowd on Sunday night.
Erica transformed into a Disney princess while dancing to When We Were Humans from Princess and the Frog – with professional partner Denys Samson taking on the role of the frog.
And now she hopes her own success on DWTS will encourage other young girls like her to see that anything is possible.
Erica told the Irish Sun: “Samantha Mumba opened the door for me to come through.
“When I was little, she was the only girl who looked like me when I was a kid. You don’t see many black faces.
“That’s why I felt so emotional dancing to The Princess and The Frog last Sunday because it was the first Disney princess I saw as a child who looked like me.
“And it’s an honor to dance like her on Ireland’s biggest TV show.”
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And Erica – who has been fascinated with her music since she started on DWTS – is also receiving love on social media.
“I get a lot of supportive messages from black and brown girls on my Instagram,” she said.
“One mother told me her daughter asked if she could stay up late ‘to watch the black girl dance,’ which was really sweet.”
While Erica scored the first ten this season for Charleston, she recalls growing up thinking that no black face in TV shows or pop shows was the norm.
“When Samantha took shape, it was a culture where there was only room for one person,” she said. There’s no place for everyone. Currently In Ireland there are many other young black female artists such as Tolu Makay and Soulé. We are represented on the entire board of directors.
“For me, being on a big TV show like DWTS proves to young Irish boys and girls that if you watch it, you can achieve it. Representation is everything. ”
R&B star Erica said racism was something she was forced to deal with growing up in Ireland.
‘FACE ON AWARDS’
She told the Irish Sun: “When you are physically and verbally abused racist, it directs you to a different way of life. It’s one of those things you’re used to but you don’t need to get used to. I had to be aware of that. “
But Erica credits her father Gerald, a former professional basketball player from North Carolina, USA, for instilling in her the belief that she needed to be successful.
“My father was one of the first black Irishmen here in the 80s,” she said. “I remember when I was 7 years old, he told me that people always go to see your skin color and hair color first.
“The things he told me didn’t come true until two or three years ago. Because you just have to get on with it. Looking back now as I get older, I don’t remember seeing anyone on TV who looked like me and that seemed normal.
“That has never stopped me and I have always wanted to be a singer. My parents raised me to be very self-disciplined and responsible, but it’s also good to be confident and confident.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that being confident is not a good thing. I was raised to believe that I could do whatever I wanted if I worked hard. ”
Topping the scoreboard with 28 points on Sunday night, Erica admitted she had “an eye for the prize” but denied there was any tension with rivals on the show.
https://www.thesun.ie/tv/8299607/dwts-erica-cody-emotional-disney-samantha-mumba-inspiration/ DWTS’ Erica Cody Reveals Reason Behind Emotional Response To Disney Dance And Samantha Mumba Inspiration