So they think they can dance

20 Feb, 2010 03:00 AM
ST GEORGE and Sutherland Shire has proved it is home to some talented dancers with three contestants from the region making the top 20 of reality show, So You Think You Can Dance Australia. 

Matt Geronimi of Menai, Jessie Hesketh of Sylvania and Robbie Kmetoni of Allawah reached the final stage of the competition after conquering the gruelling rounds of auditions.

Mr Geronimi, 22, auditioned for the Channel Ten show’s first season in 2008, making it through to the top 80.

A mechanic by day, the trained ballroom and Latin dancer has been dancing since he was 11. He returned to Australia just in time to audition for the third series at the end of last year, after spending time performing on a cruise ship overseas.

“I gave up dancing for a while, but coming back and making it into the top 20 is fantastic and such a good stepping stone for me in my career,” he said. “My favourite style is ballroom and hip- hop but I’m happy to do any style that I am given.”

Miss Hesketh, 19, scored a place in the top 20 after coming straight out of a full-time dance program at Ev&Bow Dance Training Centre, Kirrawee. The contemporary ballet dancer said joining the show was not too much of a shock as she was used to the pressure.

“I was at my peak as I had spent the last year dancing full-time,” Miss Hesketh said.

“Just being a part of the top 20 is an amazing starting ground to launch a bigger career, to get myself out there and be known for life after the show.”

Miss Hesketh said she is focusing on taking each week as it comes instead of looking too far into the future.

“Hip-hop and ballroom are the furthest away from what I do best,” she said. “But the competition is a chance for me to conquer my fears of these dance styles and break down the barriers.”

Mr Kmetoni, 18, was lucky enough to start a dance career straight out of high school, which he finished last year. The contemporary ballet dancer was only 17 when he auditioned.

“I almost didn’t audition because I felt I wasn’t ready or mature enough,” he said. “I thought I would be too hard on myself if I didn’t make it, but thankfully my parents pushed me into believing that I could.

“I feel so lucky and blessed to have made it this far.”

Mr Kmetoni, who started dancing when he was seven, hoped the exposure he received from the show would allow him to gain work in the industry.

“I hope that when I leave the show, I get some gigs and jobs out of it,” he said. “I want to learn every style there is through the show and see how far I can go as a dancer.”

The first performance show open to public votes aired Wednesday night.