The pageant world’s little prince

From E!Online: Among all the little pageant princesses on Toddlers & Tiaras, there’s now a pageant prince.

The TLC series — which follows the controversial world of child beauty contests and follows selected young kids in competiton across the U.S. — is throwing audiences for a loop tonight by featuring a 7-year-old boy who loves to compete alongside the girls.

Brock Ritter is a self-described “diva” who is a pro at dance and gymnastics and has already nabbed a half-dozen first-place trophies.

Brock’s mother, Tori Ritter, tells E! News that her son became interested in pageants when he was just 2. And she shared a few more tidbits about her spotlight-loving son. Here are five things to know about the Brockster.

1. He’s From Madonna’s hometown: The pageant prince hails from Bay City, Mich., the same city Madonna escaped from before hitting it big in New York. It’s where he spends time practicing for his upcoming pageants and attending public school. We have a feeling the pop queen would be proud.

2. He Was Bullied in Kindergarten: Tori says that both she and Brock dealt with some backlash when he began expressing an interest in performing and she encouraged it. For Brock, the taunts began when he was just 5. “We dealt with it in kindergarten,” Tori says. Tori says that if her son is ever bothered, he comes home and expresses his feeling on it, but ultimately he wants to continue the pageant life.

As for Tori, she says other parents have in the past given her grief for being a “pageant mom,” but she tells us that most are supportive of the family.

3. He’s a Tap-Dancing Machine: Brock was watching television when he was 2 and told his mother that he wanted to tap dance. “He does not sit down,” his mom says. “I asked him ‘What kind of dance do you want to do?’ and he said tap. He’s been dancing for six years now.” And his routines are a family affair, with dad cutting and mixing all the music that he boogies to.

Along with all the foot tapping, Brock also taught himself gymnastics, working on his flexibility and flips at home. “We don’t work with a coach, we play around at home,” Tori tells us.

4. He’s Obsessed With School: The third grader watches minimal TV so that he can spend all his spare time outside of preparing for pageants reading. “He loves school, he loves to read,” Tori tells us. Brock’s even in a “hardcore” advanced reading program that has him reading way past his age group.

5. He Dreams of Performing on Broadway: Brock tells his mom he really really wants to sing and dance on the Great White Way one day. He loves the life and the costumes and everything that comes with making a showbiz career.

Says Tory: “He’s not your typical kid.”

I think this story may be more wide-spread than just Brock… I believe I have several friends on the Great White Way who had similar interests at a young age.

Ah, youth.