Arts·The Move

At only 10 years old, Raptors dancer Roman Pesino already has moves fire enough to light up an arena

He's a very little guy with very big dreams — and an astounding amount of swag.

He's a very little guy with very big dreams — and an astounding amount of swag

When the Toronto Raptors franchise was born in 1995, they had one major concern that had nothing to do with building their starting lineup: how do you make things fun for fans regardless of whether the team wins or loses? Enter the Lil Ballas Dance Team — an ever-changing group of young dancers that's been hyping the crowd since that first season.

When 10-year-old Roman Pesino joined the Lil Ballas two years ago, it was a dream come true. Performing at a number of sold-out games during the Raptors Championship Playoff run, he was front and centre for it all. On themed nights, they even transformed him, fake beard and all, into one of his idols — Drake. During one "Mini-Drake" dance, Aubrey himself looked over and showed his approval.

In this episode of The Move 3: Kids, Roman breaks down the steps to a killer Top Rock — a move that he once struggled with but mastered after putting in the work.

He's a very little guy, but with very big dreams. He's already tried out for World of Dance twice, where they invited him to audition even though he's currently too young for their minimum age requirements — and all it takes is one look at his performance to see why. It's clear that Roman's craft will only keep growing as he does.

The Move 3: Kids features performances from nine of the most incredible young dancers in Canada. Find out more and stream the full series now on CBC Gem.


Lucius Dechausay is a video producer at CBC Arts, as well as a freelance illustrator and filmmaker. His short films and animations have been screened at a number of festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs. Most recently he directed KETTLE, which is currently streaming at CBC Short Docs.

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