VIDEO UPDATE: Dancing teen makes it to dance championships
IT'S hard to believe after beginning dance lessons only a year ago, 16-year-old Jaiden Pyke could be collecting handfuls of awards and earning his way into international dance competitions.
Jaiden travelled to Newcastle earlier this month to compete at Get the Beat and Live to Dance, where he collected five firsts, two seconds, a third, fourth and a highly commended across the event.
Jaiden started at JCDance last year and he now attends classes four times a week.
"I just had a passion for performing," he said.
"So I got involved in dancing, just loved it and I still do love it."
His favourite genres are lyrical and contemporary.
"I'm seeing where dance takes me at the moment, because if it takes me places I'll take the opportunity," Jaiden said.
"It would be nice to be a choreographer in the future."
At the Get the Beat competition on March 12, Jaiden got second place in acrobatics, qualifying him to compete at both the Sunshine Coast and Singapore championships.
He said his training leading up to the competition was "intense" because he had to learn new material within two months.
"They were three minute dances, so that was pretty challenging," Jaiden said.
"I find lyrical so expressive, and I guess I'm able to feel emotion to the music and give it to the audience, and they can feel what you're trying to do."
Jaiden's school principal, Ian Davies of The Rivers Secondary College (TRSC) Kadina High Campus, said it was hard to believe Jaiden had only been learning dance for a year.
"I've seen him dance and he's incredible," Mr Davies said. "The passion in his facial expressions and body, and just how he connects with the music is incredible."
Last year Jaiden was also a member of TRSC's dance ensemble.
"We're developing opportunities for students to do dance across the whole Rivers P-12," Mr Davies said.
"We now run Wednesday morning sport and we run dance through that.
"Sport isn't offered in year 11 and 12 yet but the aim is dance at an HSC level."