Timaru 17-year-old Caleb Cameron, who has been garnering dance awards both here and in Australia and has his sights set on a career in the arts, takes part in The Courier’s Five Questions series.
Q How did you get involved in dancing?
When I was younger I always had an infatuation with dance. Whatever music came on, be it church hymns or some random track on the radio, I was wiggling at the youngest of ages to making up my own routines when I was 6. So one day a friend of my mum’s saw a notice in their school newsletter about dance lessons. The next week I had tap shoes on my feet and had my first group lesson with Kaye B studio. Now 11 years later I’m still scuffing up Kaye’s floor.
Q What have you got out of dancing?
Performing on stage and giving the audience delight with what you are doing has always given me the highest of highs. With tap dance the audience can hear every beat and see every action, so I have to perform to my highest standard to wow them the most. It’s a bonus that I can enjoy myself with my own feet even when alone. I have had so many opportunities around the country and even overseas and met so many amazing people that will be friends for life. With dance I have found a career I want to pursue.
Q What are your goals for your dancing?
Within the next few years I want to be performing full time, incorporating my acting and tap dance. The plan is to move to Australia the year after next and begin teaching, training and auditioning for everything possible. To get noticed and make connections is going to be a hugely important part of my journey. I just got a $12,000 scholarship to a musical theatre school in Melbourne last weekend and this is a massive step into having my dream being realised.
Q Do you have dancing role models?
Being compared to the classic dancers of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire are always some of the highest comments a judge can make. So these icons will always be the greatest idols I look up to. In competitions I compete in, my biggest competition is Bayley Graham – yet he is someone I look up to with his impeccable timing and skill.
Q What would you say to a boy who was thinking about learning to dance?
Do it. If you are interested, do it. Give it a chance and you will be part of a world full of amazing people and being able to be creative in a different kind of way. Tap style for boys is so different and unique – give it a shot.