JUDGES made an unconventional choice at the Arts Council’s Young Dancer of Man 2011 competition last weekend.
The last two winners of the bi-annual competition have both been ballet dancers.
But this year the judges, Lynda Cardwell and Loraine Hastings of the International Dance Teachers Association crowned 17-year-old breakdancer Jaico Garcia, of Douglas, as the champion.
And a worthy winner he was too! With his smooth slides, quick flips, lingering handstands and own style of moonwalking, this incredibly talented young chap is mind blowing to watch. As the winner of Young Dancer of Mann Jaico will receive the Dixon-Hughes Trophy and a bursary to attend a dance workshop in the UK.
‘I really cannot believe that I won,’ said Jaico modestly. ‘The competition was really tight and I was ready to sit down and cheer on the winner.
‘So when I heard my name I didn’t know how to react, it was something I thought that would never happen in this lifetime.’
He added: ‘I’m really pleased that my style of dance – b-boying and breaking or more commonly known as breakdancing – was appreciated.
‘It felt great being the only breaker in the solo category, and again I was amazed that I got through to the finals let alone winning this.’
He explained: ‘It was funny, the way I was entered into the competition, two days before the audition day Dave Cowley [from the Represent Dance Company] – the most amazing friend that he is – calls me saying: “Hey how do you feel about doing the Young Dancer of Mann? Just for a laugh?” And I am glad that he did call.’
Jaico only started dancing four years ago when Stephanie Gomaa, a teacher at Ballakermeen High School suggested he take part in a school production called Beatz, which was choreographed by Dave.
‘After the show I grew a high interest in street dance and decided to give it a go by attending Dave’s classes in late 2008,’ he explained. ‘I’ve been a part of Represent Dance Company ever since and more recently Kinetix, which was created to perform at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Games in September.
‘Honestly, I only ever really got into b-boying around August last year, funnily I got the word tattooed on to my arm and I was beginning to regret it until now!’
The group winners of the final, held on Saturday evening in the Studio Theatre at Ballakermeen High School, were the innovative Dawson’s Freaks, aged 13-17, who performed a slick routine dressed as evil clowns and fishnet stockinged ringmasters to Pink’s song Funhouse. The Ballakermeen dance troupe also won the best Costume Award.
Other competitors were Alice Smith, 14, who was awarded Solo Runner Up, Ny Fennee, eight-18, who were Group Runner Up, nine-year-old Alexandra Slater who won the Choreography Award, Tara Black, 14, the 10-year-old girls in Skibbylt, Tegan Dixon, 16, Tom Callow, 14, Olivia Duggan, 11, RDC Freestyle Crew, 15-18, and Reagan Dee, 16.
Jaico’s audition can be watched on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6UwMVh_O5w