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CEDAR GROVE - A Bullitt County native hopes to dance his way to national stardom.
Dakota Smith, a 2006 North Bullitt High School graduate, has appeared on the MTV hit series, "Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew."
Smith and his dance team, Royal Flush, made it through the first rounds and qualified for the main competition that began Feb. 18.
America's Best Dance Crew acts as a talent show where a different team is voted off the show each week. The final team dancing earns a $100,000 grand prize.
In its fifth season, the show added a new element with 15 teams competing, five each from the East, South and West national regions. Royal Flush was one of three Southern teams to qualify. The nine finalists will compete in the elimination format.
Dakota's father, Shepherdsville resident Scott Smith, said his son had been in Los Angeles preparing for the show.
At North Bullitt Dakota played catcher on the school baseball team and guard on the basketball squad. According to Scott, Dakota developed his dancing desire while still attending Hebron Middle School.
"He would try to dance, but he didn't have any rhythm," Scott recalled. "He would tape shows and learn the steps."
The hard work paid off for Dakota, who tried out for the show in previous years through tryouts held in Louisville.
At the tryouts Dakota and Tyrone Foster, and Elizabethtown native known as Neon, met Royal Flush, a dance troop based in Atlanta.
"Royal Flush asked them to join," Scott said. "They made that trek to Atlanta to practice on weekends and times off. They finally moved down there a year ago."
Dakota's family, including Scott, mom Crystal and sister Brittany, all remain in Bullitt County. Scott said they hear from Dakota "as much as a young son calls" his parents.
"He's an average 22-year-old trying to make things happen," said Scott. "He might be starving in Atlanta but he's working hard and he's dedicated."
Following each episode of America's Best Dance Crew's elimination rounds aired, viewers can go to the mtv.com Web site and vote for their favorite team.