HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Greatest Showman movie musical continues wowing fans at the theater. But, a local performer is stealing the spotlight on social media thanks to a special song from the show.
Merrimack Hall welcomes in more than 175 students who know who they are. More than that, they're proud of the person they see in the mirror. Kellan Widby takes a performing class at Merrimack Hall once a week. It's a nonprofit outreach that offers arts education to children and adults with special needs.
"I really don't think of Kellan as having Down Syndrome all the time, I just think about Kellan being Kellan," Melanie Lowe, Kellan's mother, said.
Kellan is a six-year-old boy with a passion for music. Earlier this week, his teacher took a video of him when he thought no one was looking. Jenna Featherston posted it on Twitter. At the time this story was written, it had more than 5,000 retweets and nearly 30,000 likes.
"I was just sitting there and all of a sudden he starts singing," Featherston recalled.
Kellan's mom says his happiness doesn't require much.
"If there's music on that he knows, he starts to sing," Lowe said.
When the lights illuminate the stage and the song starts, there's no stopping him.
"I think it resonates with everyone on a visceral level that it's okay to be exactly who you are," Lowe said of 'This is Me.' That's one of Kellan's favorite numbers. It's from the movie 'The Greatest Showman.'
"I've gone through things where I don't feel as confident and then when I get here, they all just know how to be themselves," Featherston said about working with the students at Merrimack Hall.
We're all different lyrics that make up the song of humanity.
Merrimack Hall is a nonprofit organization. You can see the students' hard work pay off during special shows in the theater.
If you would like to donate, volunteer or learn more, visit www.merrimackhall.com.