DANCER Matthew Flinders is feeling on top of the world after beating 12 other young men for a place in the final of Dance Master UK.
The 16-year-old is now preparing to do battle on the dance floor as he takes on 12 more contestants to be crowned winner at the Winter Gardens Opera House in Blackpool on June 10.
The youngster who attends Rastrick High School is no stranger to competitions after scooping the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) Ken Dodd Award and he won the South and West Yorkshire Tap Championships.
Matthew said: “I wasn’t expecting to win because I was so young compared to the others who were 18 to 20. I couldn’t expect to go through this year and when I did I was shocked but excited.
“I dance four or five times a week ranging from two hours to six hours a day. I’m currently preparing for the IDTA intermediate exams and I’m doing shows in July at the Lawrence Batley Theatre.
“You don’t see many boys dancing but it is a way to express myself. I am doing my GCSEs at the moment but I have learnt to structure my life to fit it all in and dancing does give me somewhere to escape from it all.”
Matthew first started dancing when he was seven years old after seeing a show at the theatre. “I asked if I could try it out and it all started from there. I enter a lot of competitions about three a year, I do five championships a year, two exams and two or three shows. The competitions are good because it gives you a competitive side, it shows you a different style to dance and you can pick up tips from others.”
Matthew also does tap, ballet and contemporary.
Report by Michaela Maunders