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YK talent showcased on national commercial
Gabriel Darku to be featured in McDonald's TV spot airs this week

Sara Wilson
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, July 24, 2012

As a high-achieving high school athlete, being in the spotlight isn't new for Gabriel Darku. This week, however, the Grade 12 St. Patrick High School student is attracting attention for a different kind of athletic talent.

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St. Patrick High School student Gabriel Darku, 17, is one of 10 McDonald' employees selected to be featured in a 30-second commercial. Darku's one-minute video showcase of his dancing skills wowed the judges. - photo courtesy of McDonald's Canada

Darku is being featured as a dancer in an upcoming nationally-televised McDonald's commercial.

The 17-year-old track and field star and volleyball player is one of seven Canadians, and the only one from the NWT, picked to be showcased in the commercial.

Darku is on his second stint working for the fast food franchise on Old Airport Road, and is currently a regular crew member helping to cook and serve the famous menu. He is excited about the TV spot.

"It's a great, amazing feeling, really," Darku said. "It's so big to compare myself to everyone else, the fact that they chose me showed that they saw something and that says a lot. I'm really happy it happened."

Darku sent a one-minute video featuring his freestyle moves to Low Grinder by electronic artist Beretta through the McDonald's website.

He was one of 10 employees from around the country chosen out of almost 80,000 McDonald's Canada's employees.

The finalists selected had the chance to go to Toronto to work with choreographer Luther Brown, a judge on the CTV television show So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

"Working with Luther Brown was amazing. I know a few of my friends that are actually dancers that would have loved to have that opportunity," Darku said. "I appreciated every moment of it."

Shot on location from the kitchen in McDonald's Canada's head office in Toronto, the 30-second spot was shot by Toronto video and commercial director Drew Lightfoot.

While a career in professional dancing isn't in the cards for Darku, he admits it has been a big part of his life. He said he finds inspiration from break dancing.

"Dancing is more of a hobby for me. It's all self-taught," he said. "When I was kid, I used to love watching dance movies. This is the first time exposing myself professionally as a dancer. It feels good."

The commercial was scheduled to premiere last night and will run for four weeks on all major networks.

"I'm sure my grandparents and my mom and dad are probably going to record it," Gabriel said.

Martin Darku, Gabriel's dad, said he is "very proud" of his son and his accomplishments.

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