Aydin Eyikan is a 15-year-old Fairfield Ludlowe High School student who has studied dance since he was seven, and has placed in the top ten at every regional and national competition that he has competed in for the past five years. He recently became a contestant on NBC’s “World of Dance,” swiftly moving onto the second round in front of judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, and NE-YO. We got a chance to talk to the rising dance star in between his practice and his performances.
Why did you start dancing and where did you first study?
I started dancing when I was seven, because I was so inspired by TV dance shows. I would dance around the living room while watching these shows with my family. Finally my mom saw that there was a hip hop class at the Fairfield Public Library, and signed me up. I loved the class so much that my mom decided she better find somewhere for me to dance fast! So I began my training and started to develop my love and passion for dance at Flash Pointe Dance.
You are on “World of Dance” and made it to the next round. Tell us how you came to be on the show.
In late May of 2018, I saw that casting had opened up for Season three, and since I had wanted to be on the show since it began, I decided to begin filling out application. The part that was the most exciting is that before I had even submitted my application, WOD casting reached out to me asking if I wanted to audition. My choreographer Donald Aversa and I worked so hard on my routines that I felt completely ready for the New York City audition.
What are JLo, Derek Hough, and Ne-Yo like?
They are incredible! The entire judging panel has earned their place at that table and it’s incredible to be able to perform for them. JLO is the most gorgeous person that I have ever met and glows. My qualifiers performance which was the first time I ever danced in front of them—and the world—was the best moment of my life so far.
What advice to have to you kids wanting to get into dance?
My advice for kids who want to dance is to never ever give up. I know that sounds corny, but there are so many people in life who try to bring dancers down, especially male dancers. My second piece of advice is to always work hard. Dance is not something where you can sit around and wait for things to go well. You have to be prepared to sweat and train every single day, and to always think of the big picture—where you want to be.
Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and I love the outdoors and animals.
Do you have a motto or mantra you live by?
A motto that I live by is a quote by Beverly Sills, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” This means a lot to me because I am constantly trying to improve, and I never stop analyzing my growth and progression. It’s milestones like being on “World of Dance” that remind me to never stop pushing myself, and to always think of where I want to be in the long run. There is absolutely no way to be successful without hard work, dedication, and commitment.