Raneem Ayass, a Year 13 student from GEMS Wellington International School, got to dance alongside American star Jason Derulo at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Here’s her incredible experience
My experience dancing for Jason Derulo was amazing, the audition process was very competitive and hard to get as I was being judged and selected from a single video. In order to get the spot, I needed to learn a dance that was taught to us on the day and then freestyle for another eight counts. This was to show the judges what I was capable of doing and how I could add my own touch of style into my moves. There was an exact number of dancers that they needed, which was around 12 in total (boys and girls) and there were hundreds of people waiting for their turn.
I was given a number and I had to wait patiently until it was my turn. Then I was told to state my name and age to the camera and I started to dance. You were only given one shot so I tried my very best.
One week later I got an email which informed me that I had gotten in, and I was extremely excited. I started to learn the dances. We had four days to learn the whole performance. We had up to eight hours of rehearsals a day, just going over the moves until they felt natural.
Once it came to ‘show day’, which was in Abu Dhabi, we were full of energy and ready to perform. We were told there was a make-up and hair crew and a stylist for our outfits. We were all given dressing rooms where we could relax in between shows, and it was an amazing experience to see these famous singers and actors behind the scenes. We had one dress rehearsal before the show, in which we tried out our hair, outfits and make-up. Then the performance started and I remember being extremely excited. I had a rush of adrenaline. I was still shocked that I had been given the opportunity to dance with an international star and this made me feel very happy and lucky. After I finished my number, I remember feeling great, knowing I had done an amazing job as Jason Derulo himself approached the team and told us we did amazingly. I felt so proud to be part of the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards, performing on live TV in front of a crowd.
I’ve been dancing ever since I could walk. I started off with ballet, then some gymnastics and then I came across this company, Diverse Performing Arts School in Dubai, which is where I currently dance. I fell in love with it. I feel like they are my second family and I spend most of my days there. The love and support I get is insane as they always push me to do my best, which I appreciate. I dance for long hours and I go five times a week and I really enjoy my time. It helps me to have a balanced lifestyle while staying fit and I manage my time better with school work as this is my passion. I will never stop dancing, although I will still pursue my other dreams, which include working in a PR agency.