Jack Van Der Heyden might be the new kid on the block, but he is not letting it stop him from jumping head-first into the Ballarat Foundation's Dancing With Our Stars.
He moved to Ballarat in November last year after accepting a job as a breakfast show host at Power FM.
Mr Van Der Heyden said he was lucky to start working in radio right after TAFE, first in Dubbo, Western Australia and later in Nowra on the New South Wales coast.
In 2016 he dropped everything and went off travelling, including extended stays in America and Canada.
"COVID-19 brought me back to Australia, I thought I would get back into broadcasting," Mr Van Der Heyden said.
"I had a bit more worldly experience and had spent some time finding myself."
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Mr Van Der Heyden said it was hard to move to a town where you did not know anyone but being involved in activities outside of work had helped.
He said he loved the city.
"I prefer smaller places and we have everything here," he said.
"You can walk down the street and say 'good morning' to someone and they would smile or make eye contact with you."
In his free time, Mr Van Der Heyden is an ultra marathon runner.
"Ultra marathons are more than 42 kilometres and I have done four along with other running events," he said.
The therapeutic feeling he experiences when running is similar to what he feels when in dance classes.
"When people say they go to the gym and get in the zone, I understand that now," Mr Van Der Heyden said. "The time goes so quickly and I am getting positive feedback from (dancing partner) Ashlie (Ross) and (Dance Studio Ballarat owner) Shelley (Ross).
"When you see it on TV it looks easy, but there is so much to think about.
"It has been lots of fun and very challenging, needing to think about your head placement and your hips."
Mr Van Der Heyden is still building contacts in the city as well as getting used to approaching people for donations.
Despite this he said it had been a "privilege to be involved".
"It is such a great event to bring awareness to the foundation."
You can support him at ballaratfoundation.org.au
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