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Dancing saved Connor’s life

At 16, Connor Walker is a remarkable dancer and an inspiration to many in Alberton, one whose passion for the craft would have been robbed by severe depression.

A talented and passionate multifaceted dancer has not allowed any stumbling block to stand in his way from reaching greater heights.

The future looks bright for 16-year-old Connor Walker who has become a true inspiration to others, showing that you can achieve anything as long as you put your mind and might to it.

A year ago, the learner from Hoërskool Alberton daringly fought his way out of depression through the art of dance.

He is now preparing to hit the international stage during the world championships in 2023.

Just recently, he scored 96% in the Alberton Eisteddfod while also preparing for the big international competition. He also attained his school colours for excellence.

Connor Walker in action. Photo: Eventful Media

“My mental health wasn’t great last year, I was depressed and I then danced my way out of it. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and dancing helped a lot because I managed to express myself well,” explained Connor.

Connor, a member of New Redruth’s Diamond Dance Academy, has been a dancer half of his life.

“I started dancing at the age of seven and initially did hip hop. We then stumbled across Lynn of Diamond Dance Academy and she immediately noticed me and pushed me to be a better person. She really put in a lot of hard work and dedication,” he said.

Connor Walker during a competition. Photo: Eventful media

In an exclusive interview, he reiterated that he is ready to take the world by storm and show off his talent. He thanked his mother and family for their continuous love and support.

Diamond Dance Academy founder Lynn Botha said she is extremely proud of Connor and his achievements as a rising dancer.

“Connor used to come to the studio almost every day, he was so closed off and we couldn’t reach out to him. But we got him to express his emotions through dance and is a completely different child. He smiles, he is fun and he’s the most amazing person you’ll ever meet. It brings tears to me because this boy is like my child,” she said.

She said when she first met Connor, he couldn’t lift his leg up high and that now he can ‘kick through the ceiling’.
Connor told the Alberton Record he wants to become a dance instructor.

Lynn said that she will hand over the reins to the talented youngster.

“From next year I’ll be paying for his exams and by the age of 19, he will qualify as a dance teacher. My plan is for him to teach for me for a few years and then hand the studio over to him. That’s how much I love him. My kids are more than dancers, they are my children,” she explained.

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