Teenage street dancer Emma Smith wins £10,000 award
A teenager from Hull has won a national street dance competition.
Emma Smith, who is studying for her A-levels at Hull's Wyke College, is a self-taught street dancer.
She learned the dance movements by watching videos of her favourite choreographers on the internet.
"I used to do contemporary dance classes but then I just started watching all the choreographers on YouTube and Sisco as well and just tried to copy it and get my own style."'Really scary'
The 16-year-old entered a national street dance competition through the internet and, after just two auditions, was competing in the finals in London.
"It was really scary. I wasn't expecting it to be as big as it was," she said.
"You just had to show that you could listen to a beat and interpret it in your own way… I'm used to just doing choreography so to just make it up on the spot like one after the other was scary."
After beating off hundreds of dancers from across the country, she has now been awarded a £10,000 contract and is being trained by the best in the business.
Pop choreographer Sisco, who was on the judging panel, was taken aback by her performance saying: "For me Emma's the strongest dancer. She literally came out of nowhere, she was a dark horse.
"She's got amazing dynamic, just picks up the choreography fast, she listens and she has a really, really bright future in this industry."
Her teachers are delighted her talent is being recognised.
Ian Taylor, the vice-principal at Wyke College, said: "I've spoken to some of the dance teachers and they're thrilled she's come through.
"Competition is what's so important to many of our students and you can be very good but you've got to be able to perform on the day and that's a real challenge, so it's lovely for her."
Emma has formed a new dance group and will be performing in front of a packed audience at a major London venue in May.