Maio, 14, won the dance category at last month's competition, which featured over 100 performers in dance, music and theater auditioning for their chance at a scholarship from the Patel Conservatory.
"I didn't really know what to expect, I just came in like it was a regular audition," said Maio, of Northdale, who amazed judges with his toe tapping Irish step moves.
When Maio was young, he saw Riverdance on TV. Maio thrilled at the prospect of learning Irish step.
He currently trains with instructor Brent Wood at Glor Na Daire in Jacksonville, commuting every week to classes. He homeschools and uses the long drive to do schoolwork.
He competes nationally with the National Irish Dance Association and was ranked 5th in the U.S. in 2009.
"I feel the fire of getting in front of an audience. It's different than practicing at home, it's like I'm ten times better," said Maio.
|Johnny practices at Curtis Hixon Park|
"I just like to jump really high, and tap my feet as fast as I can," said Maio. "Getting good at it is a fun challenge. I'd like to do as much as I can, tap, ballet, jazz."
He joins the Patel Conservatory this month taking ballet and tap classes.
Want to join Maio in the 'fun challenge' of dance? Registration is currently open for fall classes for adults and children in tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop and more. Click here for a full class schedule.