Smiling Franklin takes it one step at a time

Brooks High School students Nathaniel Heazlewood, 15, Prashakar Acharya, 15, dancer Tommy Franklin and Nadin Sharma, 15. Picture: MARK JESSER

Brooks High School students Nathaniel Heazlewood, 15, Prashakar Acharya, 15, dancer Tommy Franklin and Nadin Sharma, 15. Picture: MARK JESSER

TOMMY Franklin is on a mission to change the world one smile at a time - and his current destination is Tasmania.

The dancing man from Byron Bay, who made himself known as "Salty Rain" on Australia's Got Talent last year, was at Brooks High School yesterday sharing his life story and dancing skills with students.

He also took similar workshops at Glen Dhu Primary School and at Stompin Dance Studio last night.

Franklin said he was very passionate about spreading his message to find fun and happiness through dance and to express yourself without being judged.

"At schools, kids can stress out about being themselves and there's a pressure to fit into a box or a bubble," Franklin said.

"We're all different shapes and we should appreciate all those different qualities."

Franklin said he fell into the trap of becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol growing up.

He said it got to the point where he almost destroyed the relationship he had with his family and almost became homeless.

Then in 2003, Franklin was hit by a car while skateboarding.

He spent weeks in intensive care and broke a number of bones, including shattering one knee.

"It snowballed from there and I had to clean up my life and I had to think positively," Franklin said.

•Franklin will perform at Dark Mofo's Dark Faux Mo in Hobart tonight from 10 o'clock.

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