Toronto Teenager with Autism is an Internet Sensation After “Dancing Barista” Video Goes Viral

Not many of us are called upon to dance in our daily working lives (drunk at the office Christmas party does not count).

But Toronto teenager Sam isn’t just anyone. He’s the “dancing barista” who has become an internet sensation thanks to some of the moves he’s been busting out behind the counter at work.

The Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School student, who works at a Starbucks in Toronto, has been using dance to combat the sudden movements caused by his autism.

His boss, Chris Ali, told CTV News that they always listen to music in the store and that Sam loves to dance.

Chris said, “Bringing dance to his routines at work really helped focus on settling down some of his movement disabilities he’s had.”

Not only has it helped him to get better at his job, customers love seeing Sam dance so much that many have visited specifically to see him in action.

Carly Fleischmann, who suffers from autism so severely she cannot speak, and works to provide better understanding about the condition, uploaded the clip of him dancing to YouTube:

In her explanation below the video she said, “When he was offered a position to work at Starbucks Sam told his parents that for the first time in his life that his life had real meaning. Sam was diagnosed with autism and like some people with autism Sam has a movement disorder.”

Carly went on to explain that because of this, Sam has a hard time keeping his body still, and as a result he doubted whether he would ever be able to work behind the counter due to his sudden movements.

However, after giving him the job, his manager spent many hours and shifts teaching him how to successfully be a barista, all whilst dancing and enjoying himself at the coffee shop.

“If it wasn’t for Chris believing in Sam he would of [sic] never believed in himself. More people like Sam need to be seen, heard and given a chance to thrive and dance.”

Carly Fleischmann said that she wished the video would go viral by her birthday, which was was four days from the time of uploading (on Friday 22). Having reached almost 150,000 views on YouTube just in time for the big day, it looks like she got her wish.

Happy Birthday Carly!