JUMP JAM Idol Winner 2009 Yr. 7-8
MY IDOL JOURNEY
My background in performing in the last 6 years has been Hip Hop dancing. I was drawn to Jump Jam when it was introduced to our school as it involves the same strictness of choreographed movements and the technique and is high energy and most of all…fun.
From 2007-2009 I was part of our school JJ group and competed in the National Jump Jam Team Challenge in both Wellington & Christchurch. We hit an absolute ‘high’ as top placing school, securing both a gold and silver in this category.
Through my dancing I had gained a lot of confidence in performing in front of an audience as I have taken part in numerous exams, productions and youth talent quests. However this has always involved being part of a group and performing as an individual was still a bit out of my comfort zone.
As a year 8 it was also my last opportunity to participate in jump jam so I decided that taking part in Idol would be a fantastic challenge for me, and also a great way to end my jump jam experience.
I have always taken a keen interest in speeches and made it to my school finals for the last 3 years, placing 1st in the yr 8 finals in 2009. Because of this, I have learnt how to speak clearly and how to project my voice in front of a crowd, but the nerves kicked back in when I learnt just what was ahead of me!
In a team, you have many people to share the load, to help each other out and share in the effort and the glory – as an individual competitor you are on your own. As an Idol competitor you not only have to learn the routine but learn to ’instruct’ to the crowd at the same time. This made me realise I had to rely on myself to make decisions such as: my routine, technique and visual and verbal cues. But I was ready to give it a go!
I was ecstatic after making it through the regional finals but I decided to change my original song and routine. I wanted to choose a routine that was hip, new and fresh and that would appeal to our young audience. I also felt more comfortable with the song because I loved it and It allowed me to play a more daring and dramatic role and to show a little more of my own creativity.
I understood that it could be a risk but it was one I was willing to take – if I played my cards right I believed it could be awesome. I was aware that if I wanted to reach the highest standard in the competition I needed to be 100% committed.
From training up to 2 hours a day I became physically stronger and learnt more from myself –of just how capable I was of pushing things that little bit further.
I started instructing my routine in front of school classes as part of their daily P.E sessions which built up my confidence in using a voice microphone and learning how to successfully motivate the crowd and to hold their attention and boost their enthusiasm & energy. This was nerve wracking at first but I knew I had the support of all the teachers and kids and it ended up being so much fun.
I continued with in-school and after school training until I felt there was nothing else I could do. I felt I had perfected my routine and it would all come down to my other competitors and the performances on the day.
As the competition grew closer I became more impatient with the waiting, I was ready to show them what I had. But as the day arrived the nerves and butterflies in my stomach arrived too! We had a big crowd and I was unsure if I would be able to pull this off. But we went through the motions and suddenly it was my turn. I hit the stage and gave it my all. Waiting for the results was the most insane feeling of all time and my emotions let loose. Before I knew it my name had been called as the winner of the yr 7-8 girls Idol category. I was blown away. Three months of solid training had paid off and not only did I hold a NZ title (with trophy and medal in hand!) it got me the satisfaction to know that I had performed to my highest ability.
Jump Jam Idol has taught me to have confidence in myself as an individual performer and the strength to take chances – to give new things a go. I have enjoyed being a mentor to other school students and providing leadership to those who wish to take part in jump jam. I have felt both a responsibility and pride in representing my school and region and in turn jump jam has given me the opportunity to make a ‘name for myself’ and to stand out among the large crowd of talented achievers within the school and community. The support I had from my school, family and friends was overwhelming – but much needed and appreciated.
I have recently auditioned for our school production and have secured a role as part of the dance group. I would also like to pursue my interest in aerobics and dance choreography and to possibly compete in further competitions and am `grateful for the doors idol has opened for me.
I am still ‘over the moon’ about winning and it is a journey I will never forget!
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