10-year-old tap dancer to compete in Germany with US team

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SAN DIEGO -- Brealin Kern of Scripps Ranch has some of the fastest feet in the area, and those tapping toes have carried her to Germany for the Olympics of tap dancing later this month.

Kern's feet never stop moving. "If I'm just like standing and my mom's shopping, I just start tapping," she said. "Or, I'm a swimmer also, so if I'm standing behind the block, I just start tap dancing. It just flows through and my feet just start dancing and I don't realize it."

The 10-year-old has danced for the last eight years. Though she competes in both tap and contemporary, she admits she has an aptitude for tap dancing.

"I get to move my feet and I get to go all around stage and I like to hear the sounds," Kern said.

"She has great memorization skills, so when she has a step, she comes back -- she knows it," said Lynne Ingstad, the director and CEO or SoCal Dance. "So her ability to pick up has been great because she learns very fast and she masters steps very quickly."

Kern's fast-moving feet earned her the chance to compete in the children's division at the World Tap Championships held in Germany, an event known as the "Olympics of tap dance."

Under the umbrella of the International Dance Organization, 22 countries come together to compete for the gold.

"I'm nervous and excited; they're both equal," Kern said.  "I feel special, like really special. I'm just blown away."

Kern and 79 other dancers -- including eight from San Diego -- will represent Team USA, an honor that they all look forward to. "Everyone's speaking a different language, everyone looks different, everyone has a different style and it's just so cool to see the authenticity and differences in all the places," Penelope Kalamaras said.

Unlike her fellow tappers, this marks Kern's first trip overseas. But the soft-spoken fifth grader has expectations. "Not messing up, and just smiling and just having fun," she said.

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