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Dancing to the top: Dover Airman wins a 'Roger'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Shen-Chia Chu
  • 436th AW Public Affairs
Airman from around the world competing in a 10-day Air Force World Wide Talent Contest come not only to try for a seat on the bus for Tops In Blue, but also for a chance to win a Roger or Wilco (first or second place) award.

Airman 1st Class Malik Thorne, 436th Maintenance Squadron, traveled all the way to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to compete in the dance category and took home a 'Roger' award.

Some might be impressed to know that Airman Thorne has never taken a dance class; he learned how to dance by himself only three years ago.

"I haven't been dancing all my life," said Airman Thorne. "I just taught myself by watching other people and trying to mimic their moves."

This hip-hop dancer said he began during high school, where dancing was the popular sport and students would 'battle,' or dance until the crowd determines the best dancer by cheering.

"I see many different types of dance moves at break dancing competitions and I just make them into my own," said Airman Thorne. "My goal has always been to strive to be better than the other dancers I've seen."

Airman Thorne, who loves to boogie-down to Baltimore club music, says he didn't have a dance routine ready for the competition at the AFWWTC until he saw his competitors perform.

"I think clearer when I go into a contest and free-style dance," said Airman Throne. "I came up with new dance moves and picked my song at the last minute before my performance because dancing to me is a form of self-expression, it allows me to be creative."

Airman Thorne took home the first-place trophy by showing off his moves on the stage. Some of his moves consisted of a front flip off a portion of the stage, jumping out of his shoes and break dancing in his socks, and spinning upside-down on one hand.

"I don't think my award or my dance audition stated that I was the best, but that I was one of the best dancers there," said Airman Thorne. "I'm not as proud of this award as I am of my other ones because the competition at the contest wasn't very tough, but I'm really happy that I won."

If given the chance to go back next year, Airman Thorne said he would do it again.

"This was one of the best experiences I have so far being in the Air Force," he said. "I would go back to the World Wide Talent Contest just because it was a fun experience."