AT 24, the Aboriginal dancer Beau Dean Riley Smith is unfazed at performing in Sydney Opera House.
Smith of Kogarah is a member of the Bangarra Dance Theatre of Australia, now staging that company's production of Lore.
Although he was keen on dancing as a child Smith did not have any dancing classes.
In those early days he had never dreamed of becoming a professional dancer but now he couldn't be more enthusiastic about it.
Despite that background Smith said that he was proud to be an Aboriginal and dancing. He is performing with people whom he regards as his heroes.
"Now, dancing is a real passion and it's my calling," he said.
Smith spent part of his childhood moving between Culburra Beach on the NSW south coast and Dubbo, saying that with both parents Aboriginal he had encountered some discrimination.
After graduating in theatre in 2009 from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts he studied dance at the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association Dance College.
While studying Smith also spent time in the Torres Strait and in north-east Arnhem Land exploring its cultures.
He joined Bangarra in 2013, per-forming Spirit in Vietnam.
Lore depicts Aboriginal and Torres Island life on land and sea, and looks at identity and climate change, with one piece called Sheoak and the other I.B.I.S., in both of which Smith appears.
"One dance depicts a crayfish from the time it's in a freezer and going backwards from there," he said.
After the Opera House season the company will tour Lore to Wollongong, Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne.