Dance. Fourteen-year-old Shona Poke will try her luck at the Showcase National Dance Championships after wowing judges during the regionals in Hobart earlier this month.
Though she’s not yet 15, the Smithton teen was judged in the senior category for 15 to 25-year-olds based on her age as of January next year.
She performed two dances, three minutes each. Her first dance was a jazz number, Thriller/Heads Will Roll from television show Glee. “There were a few creepy movements in that one,” she said, paying tribute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video.
Her second performance was also a Glee number. But the song, It Was Here, is a softer one that allowed for lyrical choreography, which she did herself.
Shona started dancing at the age of four. It all began at Illusions Dance Factory and carried on at Impulse Dance and Fitness. She also practises ballet at her school, Circular Head Christian School.
Shona said she dances up to 10 hours a week in classes, plus the hours of strength and flexibility training at home. Luck has it that her family home has a room – her bedroom – with a wall of mirrors where she can immerse herself.
As well as dancing, the teen teaches two to four-year-olds at the dance factory. For her efforts, she was named Most Outstanding Teacher. She also helps to teach the younger students ballet at school.
Shona says dance is her passion. “It keeps me fit. I love meeting new friends through dance.” As well as an outlet for her emotions. “You get to express your emotion through the song.”
It seems it’s working. Shona has been told she has a great stage presence. Her mother Amanda Poke says the teen is completely different on stage.
And she dreams big. “I want to dance as a back up for someone famous.” She singles out the big names – Beyonce, Pink, Justin Bieber and Kesha.
“I want to own a studio one day,” she said. “[Where I can] do a lot of choreography.”
But for now she must prepare for the national titles, where she will be up against hundreds.