Tauranga teenager Austin Taylor has won the chance to dance in America and London.
The 13-year-old won the opportunity to step under the spotlight in Florida's Hall of Fame dance challenge this July after recently being crowned Australia's Follow Your Dreams national champion of his age group.
The win also secured him a spot in London's Follow Your Dreams national competition in September.
Austin, who has been dancing for about seven years, said he was "super excited and honoured" to have been named the national champion. "I am very excited for the future," he said.
The win takes his trophy haul to 80 and he keeps each one proudly on display in his bedroom.
"It is very special to me to have won a national championship, and I am so proud to have represented New Zealand - the start of many more amazing dance nationals," he said.
Austin competed in seven dances at the recent Follow Your Dreams competition in Australia, claiming the top scoring jazz solo, placing first in musical theatre, second in contemporary and hip-hop and sixth in lyrical.
The talented teenager said he was the youngest of six selected finalists from many video entries and achieved his personal goal of being announced one of the top three dancers in his age group.
He was also named Senior New Zealand Follow Your Dreams ambassador for 2019.
Austin trained for up to two hours each day in preparation for the Follow Your Dreams competition - that included both private and individual training, plus attending his weekly dance classes at Dance Avenue.
The teenager said it was a "team effort" to have been able to secure the highest accolade of his dance career so far.
"I could not have achieved this without the guidance and support of my amazing teachers."
Austin also won the chance to dance in the Spectrum Summer School in Melbourne this year.
However, the teenager had to extend his prize until next year as he was performing in the ensemble for Tauranga Musical Theatre's junior production of The Little Mermaid this month.
To get to Florida in July and the United Kingdom in September, Austin has begun fundraising to cover flights and accommodation and is also seeking sponsorship.
To donate or sponsor Austin, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Austin's prize pool
- Cash prize of $500
- DVD and photography packages
- A return trip and free entry into the Follow Your Dreams Australian Nationals in 2020 - $500 towards flights/accommodation
- Free entries into the Follow Your Dreams New Zealand Regional competition in 2020
- A custom crown and sash
- A spot in the Spectrum Summer School, Melbourne Australia
- A Pink Lemmon dancewear voucher for custom made boys dancewear
- A solo entry into the Hall of fame dance challenge in Florida USA in July 2019
- Free entry for three solos to the Follow Your Dreams United Kingdom nationals in London in September 2019