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Minneapolis dancer earns spot at international dance competition

After winning nationals in New Orleans, David Stalter Jr. is heading to South Africa to compete against champions from more than 30 countries.

EDINA, Minn. — You have to start somewhere, and for David Stalter Jr., it was in front of the mirror in his small high school bedroom.

"I was kind of like just learning whatever I could on YouTube," Stalter said. "I didn't really have friends. That was kind of my thing … but the dance kind of like gave me courage to get me friends and make friends and use my actual voice more because I was really quiet and shy."

Today the confident Minneapolis dancer is known as "the Crown." And his moves and ability to engage with a crowd have caught the attention of Red Bull's international Dance Your Style competition. Instead of professional judges, the crowd decides who wins.

"After the premiere of the Red Bull Dance Your Style World Final 2019 in Paris, the Red Bull Dance Your Style Challenge on TikTok in 2020, and a break in 2021, dancers are more ready than ever to tear up the floor, wow the audience and find out who will be the one to take home the 2022 world champion title," its website reads.

Stalter says, after a delay due to the pandemic, Red Bull invited him to compete in a qualifying competition in Chicago, where he won and advanced to the national competition in New Orleans and won again.

"I'm going to the world finals now so we'll see what happens," he said.

The son of a Korean father and Liberian mother, Stalter is now getting ready to join a total of 60 champions from over 30 countries in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"It is my first time in Africa," he said. "I'm really excited but also just trying to be grounded … Even past Red Bull, like whatever other things happen in the journey, just being okay with the cards you're dealt and still moving in a positive way."

When he isn't competing internationally, he teaches at House of Dance Twin Cities in Edina and other studios around the metro.

The Red Bull Dance Your Style World Final will be held Dec. 10 and will be streamed live on TikTok.

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