Dancer wings it to semi TV date

Gingerbread Man: Dance competition finalist Mark Gauden, of Armthorpe.'           PICTURE: STEVE TAYLOR.
Gingerbread Man: Dance competition finalist Mark Gauden, of Armthorpe.' PICTURE: STEVE TAYLOR.
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NERVOUS Mark Gauden got the butterflies when he prepared to dance in a £250,000 television contest.

So he decided to rip up his careful constructed plans for a self-choreographed routine and just make the whole thing up as he went along!

The 19-year-old from Armthorpe had put himself forward as a contestant for the Sky television show Got to Dance, and was trying his hand at getting onto the show for the second time, after failing to make the shortlist last year.

But after winging it as best he could, he has finally made it to the list for the semi-finals after impressing judges on the show, presented by Davina McCall last weekend.

Mark, from Wallbank Road, said: “I auditioned last year, to see where I was and what I needed to work on as a dancer. I did it on a whim and didn’t get through, but I got a lot of feedback from it.

“I was more confident this time because I had already tried it. But the nerves did not help me and I was just as nervous as I was last time.

“I had planned myself a routine. But on the day I didn’t want anything to go wrong, so I dropped the routine and just freestyled it.

“The judges were impressed – they really like it and they gave me three gold stars to get me onto the shortlist.”

Mark calls himself the Gingerbread Man on stage, after he put himself into a contest called Streetdance XXL under that name.

He said he gave himself the name for that competition because he was not taking it seriously.

When he is not entering dance competitions, Mark works as a dance teacher at schools around Doncaster.

He said he has not seen any of his pupils since his appearance on Got to Dance, but is looking forward to hearing their views on his performances.

Mark began dancing three years ago. He saw a break dance workshop in Armthorpe run by Nathan Geering and decided he wanted to give it a go.

Mark began hip-hop classes and spent time dancing at local nightclubs. He found it a good way to meet people and visit different places.

His biggest achievements to date include winning Street Dance the Search 2011, winning Battle of the Bounce 2010 and taking second place at XXL 2010 (Freestyle category).