Dancing on stage with Justin Bieber is a dream for millions of girls around the world, but for 11-year-old Erin Stuck, it was a dream that became reality.
The Somerville Intermediate student took the stage alongside the global pop superstar in front of more than 45,000 people at his sold out concert at Mt Smart stadium on Saturday.
Erin, who has been dancing since age 3, now dances at Storm Dance Studios in Howick and said the concert was “really awesome”.
It was through her Storm dance teacher, Cara-Lea Wright, that Erin first found out about the competition.
With the help of Ms Wright, Erin and her mother, Audra Stuck, created a video of Erin dancing as a competition entry and uploaded it to YouTube on the Friday, just a week before the concert.
The following Wednesday, Ms Stuck received an email that temporarily made her heart stop and then made her “scream and cry.”
Erin had been hand selected as one of four kiwi kids who would get to dance next to Bieber that weekend.
When Saturday arrived, there was a long day of preparation ahead, with around eight hours spent rehearsing and waiting at the venue, but there’s no doubt it was worth it.
When Erin finally took the stage, Ms Stuck was overcome by emotion.
“She puts her heart and soul into it…and she’s happiest on the dance floor,” said Ms Stuck.
“Knowing she was one of a chosen few doing something that she’ll remember forever…it’s so special,” said Ms Stuck.
Erin even got a little one-on-one attention from the Biebs while on stage.
“He asked me what my name was and gave me a hug.”
Ms Stuck said it was such a special experience for everyone involved.
“Something where you could just put a YouTube video up…where it didn’t matter about how much money you have, what classes you took or where you live…just guts and determination.”