For seven hours each day 15 year-old Tiernan Lennon trains as hard as he can. He has his eyes firmly focused on his next goal - getting through his audition of the next series of Sky TV’s ‘Got to Dance’.
The St. Joseph’s pupil, who has been dancing for just two years, is determined to make a success of himself and thanks to the support of Dominic Bonner at Goal4Youth he says he now believes he can.
“I want to make dance my career,” Tiernan said, “and Dominic has shown me that with enough hard work and determination I can.”
And that hard work is relentless - every day Tiernan has given up the freedom so many young people enjoy during their summer holidays to train all day at Twisters gymnastic studio where he combines gymnastic skill with his own brand of dance, which caught the attention of Diversity leader Ashley Banjo on the last series of ‘Got To Dance’.
“I danced with a group - Static Movement - in the last series and we got good feedback but it also helped me realise that I wanted to go it alone and do my own thing.”
With his trademark back flips, tumbles and free-running Tiernan, from Top-of-the-Hill, turns heads wherever he dances. But for a 15 year-old boy, the decision to focus his attention on dancing did cause him to lose a few friends, and even to endure a bit of teasing from some of his schoolmates.
“There is no doubt I’ve lost a few friends,” he said.
“I have to focus so much on training that I don’t really get out with my friends. When I’m done at the gym I’m often exhausted - but those who have stuck with me are great. And a lot of my friends are excited for me and where this might go.”
Tiernan only started dancing two years ago when he took part in a two week course with the Bad Taste Crew in Omagh. Until then he had shown no interest at all in dance and had been more interested in football. But once he took part in the course and realised he could dance he was hooked.
It was then he began working with Dominic Bonner of Goal4Youth who helps young people in a life coaching capacity to encourage them.
“A lot of young people in this city label themselves before they even start,” Dominic said. “They think because of where they are from they can’t get anywhere in life - or push to achieve the big things, but they can.
“But there is no reason, with hard work and dedication, that they can’t.”
Tiernan added: “I love what I do - and I’m very focused on doing it. Dominic has taught me to believe in myself and to keep believing in myself.”
Dominic has helped push Tiernan - encouraging his training and encouraging him to give back to his community as well. Tiernan has performed at a number of charity gigs and also helps teach younger children to dance.
“I love teaching younger kids - it really helps me feel as if I’m giving something back and I get to share my passion for dance with them.”
For now Tiernan’s focus is entirely on the next series of ‘Got to Dance’ and he will be taking part in the next round of auditions in September.