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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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So You Think You Can Dance: Gavin Tsang

Gavin Tsang

Late arrival in the dance world. Helps out in his parent's Chinese takeaway.

Gavin got into dance relatively late, when he was 18, after landing the role of Danny Zuko in a school production of Grease. The show's choreographer spotted he had talent and encouraged him to continue training with her. At the time he could naturally dance hip-hop, after watching lots of music videos on TV, although he had no formal dance training.

After meeting Britney Spears' backing dancer, Jessie Lee Santos, while he was on a two-day dance workshop in Shrewsbury, Gavin knew that dance was the life for him. Jessie encouraged Gavin to finish his classical training so that he could continue to develop and perfect his skills as a hip-hop street dancer.

Having decided to forge ahead with his dancing career, he studied at Merseyside Dance School. Over three years at Merseyside he embraced a variety of styles and now wants to excel as a diverse dancer.

After graduating he kept taking a number of classes at Merseyside and at Pineapple in London. He was a dance captain on Costa Cruises for seven months around South East Asia. He danced in the chorus for The King And I at the Royal Albert Hall in 2009. Daniel Dae Kim and Maria Friedman were in the lead roles.

Favourite song to dance to?

"I love my tear-jerkers – my rock ballads! Songs that I hear and make me move to feelings. I always listen to the back-beats and dance to those as well as the front-beats. There is a band called Switchfoot that have really inspired me lately."

Greatest dancing fear?

"Falling over! But it happens."

Best physical feature?

"My hair? People get jealous because it is always so straight – but you always want what you can't have – I've always wanted big curly hair!"

Worst habit in dance?

"I always shake off my moves. It's almost like a shiver! I don't know why. I always get told off for it."

On stage most embarrassing moment?

"At dance college I dropped a girl on stage in front of everyone. But I didn't realise! I watched it back on DVD after and felt like such an idiot."

How did you get into dance?

"I auditioned for Grease at school. I got the part of Danny – I couldn't believe it. After that I wanted to pursue dance. I was 18 when I started – very late, I've only been dancing for four years – and my mum was really supportive, so I went to an audition and got in."

Where did you train?

"I went to Merseyside Dance & Drama Centre. That's where I met my best friend; you might know him... Ray Quinn! But he doesn't know I'm through in the competition yet so it'll be a shock when he sees me on the TV!"

What is your favourite type of dance?

"Contemporary. But I have my own unique style. Also, since doing the show, I've learnt how to do the foxtrot and I love it!"

What is it like working on a TV show?

"Amazing! Never have been on one before but I could live my life doing it. We don't sleep, but it doesn't matter. I can't wait to show the UK how cool dancing actually is."

Have you bonded with the other contestants?

"Well, I'm the joker – but I'm good friends with Robbie, Drew, Mark – the rest I like to wind up! Ha ha."

Are the judges as scary as they seem?

"No, I thought I'd be petrified, but they make me feel at ease. I respect them so much. I actually look forward to hearing what they have to say. But you just keep cool and calm and you can't do any more than your best."

What are your future plans?

"I never plan ahead. But really I'd like to meet a girl... and now I work with seven absolutely gorgeous girls who are all amazing dancers... it's like winning the lottery!"

Why did you enter the competition?

"I entered the competition because I want to make a difference on how dancing is perceived – especially for male dancers. I want to inspire young males into starting up dance."

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