RYE dancer Aleksander Hughes gave himself a fitting ninth birthday present last week by winning a raft of Australian championship titles.
The Boneo Primary pupil took out 11 events at the 2018 Australian Dancesport Championships at Hisense Arena, Friday 7 December.
The winning list is as long as Aleksander’s talent: He won in a variety of styles, including a prize for juvenile couples dancing with his partner, Isabella Macri-Mikai, 11, with whom he trains five days a week at Star Studios, Bentleigh, under instructor Meagen Alderton.
Aleksander’s efforts earned him Australian champion in Recreational Sub-Juvenile Boy Standard, New Vogue and Latin; Recreational Juvenile Boy Standard, New Vogue and Latin (reigning 2017-18); Teacher/Recreational Juvenile Latin and New Vogue and Recreational Juvenile Couples Modern, New Vogue and Couples Latin.
Isabella maintained the standard by winning Recreational Juvenile Girl Latin and made the finals in Modern and New Vogue.
Talent is one thing: perseverance is another. Aleksander lacks neither, training four times a week with Ms Alderton after school as well as dancing for The DanceSport Lab.
Ms Alderton said she’d had “the absolute pleasure of working with Alek and Isabella for the past year”.
“They danced a marathon event to be able to take out the Australian title,” she said.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of their dedication to training leading up to the event and their performance on the day. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these hardworking, talented and passionate dancers. At such a young age, the future is bright.”
Dad Peter said the Grade 3 and 4 pupil began to take up the sport seriously at age six. “He loves the fact that he is free and can express himself through dance,” he said.
The sky’s the limit for this talented junior who “wants to be world champion one day”, Peter said. “I’m sure it will be very lucrative for him.”