Students Staff

14 April 2015

Hip hop dancer competing for BBC Young Dancer title

Kieran Lai

Hip hop dancer Kieran Lai. Picture courtesy of the BBC

Essex Business School student Kieran Lai is one of the talented performers taking part in BBC Young Dancer launching this week.

The BSc Marketing student is being featured in advertisements currently being screened for the show and will compete in the hip hop final on Friday 24 April at 8pm on BBC Four.

"The experience overall has been great as the BBC team respect all the dancers involved in the competition," Kieran said. "The format of the show is really helpful too as it is a competition first and then a TV programme second meaning it feels like an actual dance competition only with cameras around. TV can add a lot of unnecessary pressure. I've also been able to work with the best dancers and choreographers in the UK so I'm learning a lot from the journey so far!

"The level of street dancers in this show has been high let alone the other categories. The competition at the moment is keeping me on my toes...which is good!"

This is not Kieran's first taste of fame as he won through to the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2014 just before he joined the University.

Kieran, from Southend, was originally a novice dancer learning from YouTube videos, but then he started getting formal training through Kayzar Dance in the different dance styles of popping, locking, house, krump and hip hop.

In 2012 he won the UDO Senior Allstars and Champion of Champions at the British and World Championships. His dancing talents have also led him to be be cast as a main character for the movie All Stars and he has performed in front of Heads of State from around the world at the Royal Opera House.

So what inspires Kieran? "I am inspired by other dancers and choreographers who demonstrate out of the box thinking, " he said. "I am naturally a creative guy and feed off from the energy of other people. I think life, in general, inspires me because inspiration comes from the most unexpected places and when you utilise it properly you can apply it to dance effectively! Just live!"

Now his university course is helping him achieve another ambition within the dance world - establishing a new dance school with friends.

Kieran said: "At the moment I am having to apply my business knowledge and learn the business trade quickly for the benefit of a new dance school called PHX Dance Academy as my old one recently closed down.

"To show my loyalty and appreciation I decided to start a joint venture with my fellow dance friends and teachers to open another dance school that had the same ethos as my previous dance school which is to create dancing super stars!

"My old dance school had actually made me the dancer and person I am today. I want to make a career out of dancing, but being only a dancer will only get you so far! I feel University will open more opportunities for me."

Find out more about Kieran on his website.

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