VIDEO: Flinders teen's entry in global dance contest

An animated, self-taught Flinders teenager has his sights set on international dance glory.

Jack Cudina, 17, is a self-taught performer in the world of animation dancing, regularly posting videos of his exploits on YouTube.

The teenager is a finalist in the Dance Among Dragons competition for one of his YouTube videos.

The teenager said animation dancing, typically accompanied by dance or hip-hop music, had a cult following online.

It is essentially an off-shoot of hip-hop dancing, based on "the idea of looking animated and fake", while "looking like a robot".

Jack was inspired by America's Marquese Scott, aka Nonstop, who spearheaded the movement. One of Scott's videos gained more than 100 million YouTube views.

Jack said he had never previously been interested in other forms of dance.

Since discovering animation dancing, he has posted his own videos, largely filmed in Flinders and Kiama.

"I like dubstep [electronic dance music], and while searching for different music on YouTube, I eventually found someone dancing to it," he said.

"Almost 12 months ago I started dancing.

"The style of this is very unique; there are no studios which really teach it.

"I've learnt by watching other people do it.

"It's not tutorials; it's watching videos and taking inspiration from that."

Jack said his enjoyment was rooted in entertainment, rather than self-expression.

"I find watching other people do it extremely entertaining," he said. "I hope when I do it, other people find me doing it entertaining.

"My style is mainly freestyle, and people are surprised I can come up with all these moves on the spot.

"A lot of my friends have started to follow it, but there's no-one dancing who really does it in the Illawarra."

His idols from dance crew Dragon House in Atlanta are hosting the online dance competition.

Jackentered the competition and needs community support to improve his chances of heading overseas to learn directly from his heroes.

"I want to improve in my dancing and I really wish I had the chance to witness and meet Dragon House face-to-face," he said.

"That would be a dream come true."

The competition ends on March 1 and Jack is now first, with more than 1600 likes.

The top 10 entrants will be in a Dragon House video and two overall winners will be selected to liaise with the dance crew directly.

"I need as many 'likes' as I can to have a chance of winning cash prizes, as well as a chance to be in a video with my inspiration crew, Dragon House," he said.

"Coming in first will improve my chances [of winning the overseas trip].

"If I somehow win, I get to fly over to Atlanta to meet Dragon House."

The former St Joseph's Catholic High School student is about to start TAFE studies in fitness.

Although Jack said he wasn't at the pro stage yet, he hoped to spread the word about animation dancing.

The 50 videos with the most likes win cash prizes and the opportunity to appear in a video with the Dragon House Dance Crew.

Animation dancing enthusiast Jack Cudina is happy to demonstrate or teach the new style. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

Animation dancing enthusiast Jack Cudina is happy to demonstrate or teach the new style. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON


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