WHEN youth worker Aweys Hirabe was eight years old, an Usher video inspired him to start dancing.
By the age of 19 he began to take his talent more seriously, travelling the country entering competitions.
And on Saturday night the 20-year-old from Botley wowed a panel of celebrity judges and an audience of about 100 captivated people to become the winner of Talent Oxford 2012.
Mr Hirabe, who won £1,000, a professional makeover, photoshoot and showreel, said: “It feels awesome.
“But at the same time from other experiences this is just one hurdle to many that are still left to come.
“I only started to really take my dancing seriously about a year ago.”
In his performance at the Christian Life Centre in Cowley Road, Mr Hirabe combined dancing with poetry and said: “Art is something I am passionate about.”
One of the judges, EastEnders star John Partridge, said: “All of you have done an amazing job. But this was a unanimous decision.
“He has potential but we think he is also ready to start working right now.”
Musician J-Sol said: “I just thought there was a story and he engaged everyone in the audience. “You could hear a pin drop.
“I gave him 10 out of 10. He was amazing.”
S Club 8 star Stacey McClean said: “He was amazing, we all loved him. It is really really sad saying goodbye to everyone but someone has to win.”
After Mr Hirabe’s performance, Farouk Bhimji, founder of Dance Cast Limited, said: “You need to move to London and you will work as a dancer. That was the best act tonight.”
X Factor star Kitty Brucknell, who was also a judge, performed, as well as singer Ms McClean.
There were 24 finalists who performed on the night ranging from singers and bands to dance groups.
Talent Oxford was set up in 2009 by Lydiah Igweh in memory of her sister Samantha, who died of a sudden diabetic attack aged 29.
Ms Igweh, from Headington, said: “I thought it was an amazing year. I’m happy all my hard work has paid off.”
She added: “I wanted to do something positive and Talent Oxford helps people develop some confidence.”
- Click here for a great Talent Oxford picture gallery from the final