11-Year-Old Hoop Dancer Meets Steve Harvey on ‘Little Big Shots’

Screen Capture - NBC / Scottsdale-area Hoop Dancer Rito "RJ" Lopez, Jr. shows Steve Harvey his best Hoop Dancing moves on season finale of ‘Little Big Shots’

Vincent Schilling

In Case You Missed It: 11-Year-Old Hoop Dancer Meets Steve Harvey on ‘Little Big Shots’.

Scottsdale-area Hoop Dancer Rito Lopez, Jr. shows Steve Harvey his best Hoop Dancer moves on season finale of ‘Little Big Shots’.

Rito Lopez, Jr., an 11-year-old hoop dancer from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa County Indian Community, appeared on the season finale of “Little Big Shots” with Steve Harvey to show off his best hoop dance moves. The episode aired on June 14th, but is now available on the NBC show’s website.

The 11-year-old showed Steve Harvey a brief hoop dancer routine and they then shared a laugh when Lopez asked Harvey if he wanted to look like Mickey Mouse. Harvey held up two of the hoops like mouse ears.


Rito Lopez, Jr. dances as part of the Yellowbird Indian Dancers, a traveling traditional dance troupe that features his mother, Christy, his three siblings, and other members of his mother’s family. They also often perform at Talking Stick Resort & Casino.

According to AZ Central news, Rito Lopez Sr. says his son has been performing since an early age.

“We made him little hoops when he was about 11 months old,” Rito said. “He started performing with the family when he was about 3.”

At age 6, Rito Lopez, Jr. won the youth division of the World Hoop Dance Championship at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The “Little Big Shots” producers saw the video and contacted the family to feature the young hoop dancer.


I was pretty nervous when I went out on stage,” Rito Lopez, Jr. told AZ Central. “But then when I started dancing, it went away.”

“Little Big Shots” features amazing young talents across the country and even includes segments similar to what’s shown on the program “Kids Say the Darnedest Things.”

Rito “RJ” Lopez, Jr. says it was a good time, thanks to Steve Harvey. “He was really funny… He asked me to teach him to dance, and he didn’t do that too good.”

You can watch the full episode here. Rito Lopez, Jr. appears about 10 minutes into the program.