A local boy had dreams of making it big.
“The first thing I learned was how to moonwalk,” dancer Lake Smits said.
He’s been dancing since he was 12 years old.
“I trained for eight years here at 24/7 and there was an audition for So You Think You Can Dance, so I went up there and I auditioned. And up there at the same time, I auditioned for Christina Aguilera,” Smits said.
The Castle High School graduate didn’t make it on the show or get picked up by Aguilera, but he did get noticed by one of the most sought-after choreographers in Hollywood and spent close to a year working with Janet Jackson.
Then another opportunity came knocking — this time for Jennifer Lopez’s first world tour.
“They were short one guy and they were calling everyone and she was like, ‘How about I just put your name out there?’ And I was like so I did a job with them and Jen liked me and she has used me ever since,” Smits said.
Thanks to the referral by his girlfriend, who also dances for Lopez, Smits is amongst the ranks of several other successful 24/7 dancers including Mark Kanemura, who is Lady Gaga’s front man, and Kupono Aweau who danced with Madonna.
“My mom really pushed me to go out and chase your dreams and the fact that I am living it is truly a blessing,” Smits said.
Come October, Smits will make his television debut in a new cable TV show called, About A Step Away, which follows 10 dancers on Lopez’s live tour.
“It talks about and shows our experiences hitting five different countries, 66 cities, and it’s on nuvoTV,” Smits said.
The 22-year-old says it’s not just luck that got him to where he is today.
“You need to work hard, train hard. It’s a short-lived career, so do it while you can now, especially while you are young,” Smits said.