Last Updated: April 24, 2014

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Sam Malseed burns up the dance floor in Channel 10’s So You Think You Can Dance

In full flight: Sam Malseed.

In full flight: Sam Malseed. Source: Supplied

Queue music: Sam Malseed in action.

Queue music: Sam Malseed in action. Source: Supplied

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Star: Sam Malseed. Picture: Channel 10 Matt Gilbertson

Star: Sam Malseed. Picture: Channel 10 Matt Gilbertson Source: Supplied

SAM Malseed remembers clearly that fateful day he sat in on his sister’s dance class, at the small jazz, ballet and tap studio, in Mount Gambier.

He would have been about seven years old, but Sam recalls being struck by how many girls were in the MJ Dance Studio.

* MORE: So You Think You Can Dance airs on Channel 10 Sunday nights at 6.30pm

“I signed up the next day,’’ he says. “I wasn’t actually that interested in dance in the beginning, I just thought it would be a way to be around lots of girls.’’

Sam, whose family leases a handful of cattle farms outside of Mount Gambier in South Australia and parts of south-western Victoria, started off with a tentative one lesson a week, but a decade later it has grown to three or four.

His Mount Gambier teacher saw talent in Sam – his lithe frame and low centre of gravity was perfect for lyrical jazz – and he soon become a soloist in the dance school.

“In the last four or five years I became more interested in dance,” says the 18-year-old.

“I think it was as a result of the teacher seeing talent in me and letting me dance solos.”

Sam was also encouraged by the school to apply for So You Think You Can Dance, and his early appearance on the show has been nothing short of outstanding.

For his debut performance, Sam impressed the judges with his emotional rendition of a contemporary piece, leading the panel to declare his had been “the strongest audition of the day”.

He has survived the cull from 100 dancers to make the top 20, and over the next few weeks viewers can watch Sam fight to win the title of Australia’s greatest dancer.

“It was the most amazing experience, we were all so supportive of each other and it didn’t really feel like a competition, it was more a dance convention,” says Sam, who is tight-lipped about how he fared in the show.

“I am still in touch with the people I competed against on a daily basis.’’ Sam — who has three sisters (only one of whom dances) — says his parents have been a phenomenal support, although he is pretty sure he didn’t get his dance skills from his father.

“My mother was a gymnast so that is where it probably came from,” he says.

“My Dad cannot dance at all, he tries to after he has had a few wines, but it isn’t good.”

While there were very few male dancers in his Mount Gambier school, Sam says the dance scene is opening up more.

“Shows like So You Think have made dance cool and, let me tell you, it was never cool when I was growing up,’’ he says.

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