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Tulsa teen on televised dance competition

Posted: 8:47 PM, Aug 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-16 21:47:03-04

TULSA - A Tulsa Teen is dancing his way into the national spotlight.

He appeared on Wednesday night’s episode of “World of Dance,” an NBC dance competition program.

Matthew Elliott did soccer, basketball, and karate when he was younger. But when he started dancing at the age of seven, Matt realized he found his calling.

The 17-year-old said, “It’s not only athletic and a sport but it’s also an art form that you can really get creative in and be yourself.”

Last year, when he was 16, Matt went to Oklahoma City to take a master class from a Los Angeles-based choreographer - the leader of the dance group “Embodiment”.

Matt explained, “He was like, ‘I need another guy for this group. We need to do it really quickly.’ So, I didn’t have much time to think. And I was like . . . This is the chance of a lifetime.”

With just one week to prepare, Matt suddenly found himself walking onto a televised national dance competition stage.

He said, “I was confident in my guys and I was confident in what we could do, but nerves are inevitable.”

Now, a senior at Union High School, Matt says most of it was just muscle memory, but he couldn’t help but be a little giddy in front of roaring fans and three A-list judges.

He was part of an all-male contemporary dance group on national television. It’s something you don’t see too often. Matt explained, “Contemporary doesn’t have to be all of these super pretty, slow lines. Men can be in it and dance masculine and really get into it and show the power behind contemporary.”

Judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, and Ne-yo recognized that as well. Lopez said, "It's so beautiful to see a group of strong men be so vulnerable." Ne-yo added, "This style is so graceful and so elegant that sometimes masculinity suffers. That is not the case here."

“Embodiment” advanced to the next round. To find out how far they get in the competition, you can watch “World of Dance” on 2 Works for You on Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

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