WHEN Lachlan Dearing of Barden Ridge was three, he watched the children's entertainment group Hi-5 on television and was enchanted.
Soon after that, Dearing started to learn to dance — and now 15 years after the show is on stage with his entertainment heroes as one of the gang.
Dearing has taken part in two live shows outside Sydney and is looking forward to a third on "home turf" at Sharkies, Cronulla, on February 10.
All his family will be there — his dancing, car dealer father Tony Dearing, his dancing teacher mother Allyson Dearing and his only sibling, his sister Brianna, 15.
Although he was never his mother's dancing pupil at Planetdance, Menai, all members of the family have been, or are, pupils there.
Lachlan recalled that he started singing when he was about five and had really not ever thought of any other career than being an entertainer.
A former pupil of the Sutherland Shire Christian School, Barden Ridge, he completed his HSC at the Newtown School of Performing Arts last year.
His audition for a place in Hi-5 was around the time when he wasstudying for his HSC. He found out he had won the coveted place with the entertainment group just after he had taken his last exam.
"I was already familiar with the dances and now I get to do everything," he said. ]]It's my dream job — I love working with kids, we have a lot of fun."
Lachlan said he wasn't bullied at school because of his interest in the arts; partly he believes it was because he was also an all-round sportsman.
"Oztag, cricket, the Nippers, playing representative AFL, cricket," he listed.
Lachlan appeared as an Australia's Got Talent finalist in the pop group Dapper in 2013 and won Young Talent Time the previous year.
He loves surfing and also wants to keep working in showbiz for the foreseeable future.
His father was the last in the family to learn dancing, taking it up about 13 years ago in a special "dads' class".
Lachlan replaces veteran Hi-5 performer Stevie Nicholson.
Hi-5 was launched in 1998 with five performers entertaining children aged two to eight years with music, movement, problem-solving and play.
The group has an estimated worldwide audience of more than 10 million children from its tours, music and television shows.
The television series is the number one rated show on Disney Jr in Asia.
Hi-5 has recorded more than 600 episodes featuring the Australian cast.
Among the awards the group has won are three Logie awards, five ARIA awards, five Australian DVD and Video Industry awards.
Hi-5 will premier on the American internet streaming medium, Netflix, in mid 2016.
Hi-5 Songfest will be at Sharkies, Cronulla, on February 10, 11am-noon, with doors opening at 10.30am.