An 8-year-old Texas girl never imagined that a dream birthday trip to Walt Disney World would make her an internet sensation.
Sydney Elise Russell traveled to the Florida theme park earlier this month, where her mother surprised her with a makeover at the famous Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. There, Russell was transformed into Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.
“I’m excited!” Russell is heard telling her mother in a Facebook video. “I’m scared, but in a good way!”
Shortly after her makeover, Russell made her way around Magic Kingdom to meet other princesses, according to Good Morning America. That’s when she heard music playing nearby: “When We’re Human,” the upbeat tune from the 2009 movie.
“She just started dancing by herself and enjoying the music,” Russell’s mother, Dr. Tiffany McKinnon-Russell (who runs the Thoughts of a Home School Mom Instagram account), told GMA.
A Facebook video of the moment showed Russell spinning, jumping, and swinging her arms to the music in front of the band. The footage has been shared 31,000 times on the social media site.
“Her makeover experience was AMAZING…and then THIS happened!” McKinnon-Russell wrote alongside the video. “She’s the definition of the phrase #LiveYourNOWDream. I absolutely love her.”
After the performance, Russell got to meet her hero.
“A warm embrace from Princess Tiana…this picture was taken just a few moments after Sydney danced in the Main Square at Disney Magic Kingdoms,” McKinnon-Russell captioned a photo of Russell sharing a hug with another costumed Princess Tiana. “Sydney was so excited to meet her favorite princess! She was filled with so much JOY! We had no idea how that JOY would impact so many people!!”
McKinnon-Russell called the dance a “surreal moment,” telling GMA that she never expected the video to get so much attention.
Russell, who is an actress, dancer, and singer, told the outlet that she loved meeting the princess.
“She was really happy to see somebody wearing her own dress and I told her all the things we have in common,” Russell told GMA. “I told her that I love to bake, my favorite color is green and we’re both black.”
The little girl even has a message for others with big dreams.
“If you want to do something, just go for it,” she told the outlet.