JUMP JAM Idol Winner 2009 Boys Yr. 7-8

Cameron Smith

I started doing JUMP JAM at Hilltop School in Taupo. I was a shy boy and never liked to try anything new or be in the limelight. The school was going to enter a team for the JUMP JAM Challenge. My Mother taught aerobics for many years and said I should try it (she was the coach) but I had to audition like all the rest of the students. I was the only Year 4 student selected for the team challenge. Over the next 3 years I auditioned each year and was selected. I was in comfort zone with JUMP JAM. It felt good, I had tried something new, but did not stand out on my own as I was always part of a team – that was until speech time came at school. Performing my speech I felt unusually more comfortable. I didn’t seem to mind so much being in front of a crowd on my own. The confidence I had gained performing as part of a team had paid off and I now realised I could do this on my own and went on to win the Year 6 school speech competition.
I had some big decisions to make being a Year 6 student. Hilltop School was a full Primary School – Did I want to stay in the comforting environment of the school I had always been a part of since turning 5 or did I want to step outside my comfort zone and try a bigger school? A lot of my friends remained at Hilltop School so moving meant I had to make new friends and try new things – could I do this? Of course I could. I wanted new challenges; I wanted to try new things. It felt good to succeed when I never thought I could do things on my own. I was prepared to take this next journey.

Moving to Taupo Intermediate School was a good move for me, although I tried new things it was always on my own terms, but I knew I always had the help, commitment and of course a little “You can do this Cameron” persuasion from my brilliant Year 7 teacher (I had to say that because I know she will be reading this). JUMP JAM was still in my blood but I wanted to take it to another level after learning of the past success of a student Lucy Roe whom had won bronze in the JUMP JAM Idol Competition the previous year. I didn’t have too much knowledge of JUMP JAM Idol, as the Challenge had always been “my thing”. To take this road I knew I was on my own as at Taupo Intermediate, JUMP JAM was run differently – the students ran the programme. I made some noises to my teacher about taking some classes and getting some experience leading classes. It was hard at first, being up the front taking JUMP JAM was one thing, but to speak – well that was another. The Taupo Intermediate Teaching Staff were amazing allowing me to teach for all of Term 3, wherever I could for PE Sessions, warm-ups and school cultural gatherings. This gained me the courage to get up on stage and lead students using both visual and verbal cues. During this time I felt I became a role model in the school and was accepted by fellow students who some would have normally passed me by. I proved JUMP JAM was fun to do, cool – as you could put your own styles into those Hip Hop routines and it wasn’t just for the girls. I was filmed towards the end of Term 3 and submitted my entry for the qualifying round. I knew I had done a good job and had made myself proud and if nothing else came of it I had grown confidence through the whole experience. I checked the JUMP JAM website for results and there it was my name is 3rd place on the list. I was so excited I couldn’t explain it.

After many months of commitment, practice and public performances, I performed at the National JUMP JAM Idol Competition. It was amazing instructing several hundred students. Waiting for those results I knew I had given it my best shot and was thrilled with whatever the result would be. I am proud to say I won the JUMP JAM Idol Year 7/8 Boys section.
This year will be my last at Taupo Intermediate. I will be back to defend my National JUMP JAM Idol title. Partaking in the JUMP JAM Programme has now opened up so many doors for me. I am now performing on the big stages and have recently performed at Waihi, Napier, North Shore in Auckland and Wanganui Performing Arts Competitions in Speech, Musical Theatre and Hip Hop and coming 1st or 2nd in all competitions.
I believe JUMP JAM has given me the confidence to perform and to want to continue with the Performing Arts. JUMP JAM has made me face my fears and to become a leader rather than a follower.

Cameron


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