April 5, 2016 - 4:16 pm
Billy and Emily England rolled their way from the streets of London to the circus tent of “Absinthe.”
The chorus line of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” hits the audience’s ears, and Billy England spins on roller skates at what seems like 100 mph, grasping his little sister’s legs as her body and miles of dark brown hair swing round and round.
“At first we obviously weren’t that good,” Billy England said. Emily England interrupts, “We were always really good.”
For as long as they can remember, they have been performing on eight wheels — on the street, at strip malls and at charity events.
“Mom taught us,” Billy England, 29, said.
It wasn’t long before their mom was no longer their only fan. The hobby became a career.
Soon, the brother and sister act would be appearing on TV, being asked to perform in other countries and even performing for royalty.
“We performed for Princess Anne,” said Emily England, 26. “I think it was her birthday,” Billy England added.
They were teenagers.
“As we got older, we just kept practicing and got better and better,” said Billy England.
The Englands landed a spot on “Britain’s Got Talent” in April 2015, and after one performance had an international fan base.
“We went viral around the world overnight,” Billy England said.
Just a few weeks later, the kinky, circus-themed show’s creator, Ross Mollison, invited them to the white tent outside of Caesars Palace to take part in “Absinthe.”
“I’d love you guys to be in the show, I’ve got a great idea,” Billy England said, recalling Mollison’s phone call.
“He’s like, ‘How soon can you come?’” Emily England said. “‘We want you right now.’”
They dropped everything, and headed for the bright lights of Las Vegas Boulevard.
Five days a week, they skate twice a night in an acrobatic, jaw-dropping spectacle.
Emily England says the thrill of impressing the crowd is what fuels her.
“I’m like, all in my little costume, and they’re like, ‘What can she do?’
“I look like I’m very untalented, like, very long hair to my butt and the big booty, and then, all of a sudden, after, like, five seconds, everyone’s like, their mouth dropped,” she said with a snap of her fingers.
She’s not afraid to perform, thanks to her relationship with her brother.
“We have, like, a telepathic link,” Billy England said. “I know when she’s nervous, I can feel when she’s shaking.”
Neither of them showed any signs of nervousness during a performance in March. Coming to Las Vegas has brought their act to a new level.
“We’re at the highest level we’ve ever been,” Billy England said of their “Absinthe” part. “We push ourselves to the limit of what’s actually physically, humanly capable on roller skates.”
The joy they feel on skates is something they want the rest of the world to find, and they say they are trying to return it to mainstream status.
“In England, the whole thing was, like, no one had seen anyone roller skating.” Billy England said.
Now, there’s a skating rink in London and the two often receive fan mail from kids whom they’ve inspired to lace up a pair of skates.
There is no plan to stop.
“I feel like I’m on top of the world,” Billy England said of the way performing makes him feel. “I’m the king of the world,” he said with a big grin and a chuckle.
Contact Kimberly De La Cruz at email@example.com or 702-387-5244. Find her on Twitter: @KimberlyinLV