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Shippensburg event DJ ready to compete in Atlantic City

Donovan Yaukey doesn't know or care if he's the best DJ, but as someone who has been in the wedding and event DJ business for 30 years, he is ready to show what he can do.

The Shippensburg owner of Phantom Shadow Entertainment is one of 12 DJs who will be competing this week at The DJ Expo presented by DJ Times Magazine in Atlantic City New Jersey on Aug. 12.

This is the first time Yaukey will be competing at the event, to be judged by industry leaders.

"I figured after being in the business for so long, I should decide to take a chance in life and compete," Yaukey said.

The first time Yaukey decided to break out of his shell, despite going to the convention from its inception in 1990, was last year when he participated in a showcase at the convention.

Yaukey said last year he was so stressed out that he "almost fell over" just before starting his set.

"About 15 seconds in, I just looked at the audience and thought 'I got this, come on now,'" Yaukey said.

Afterward, he felt like he had a fine performance. Yaukey said he was humbled and excited when four or five industry leaders stopped him to compliment him.

After that, Yaukey said he felt more confident in his abilities and decided to try for this year's DJ of the Year competition.

Judging is based on things like the introduction, the originality of the score, the ease of ability for other event DJs to use the routine across the country, overall presentation and crowd involvement.

Yaukey enlisted his sister and Broadway performer, Katrina Yaukey, to help come up with a dance he will teach the crowd of thousands, along with a song mixed specially for the event. Included in the 9 minute presentation will be songs like Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back, Psy's Gangnam Style, and Silento's Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).

Yaukey said his sister will be one of the dancers helping with the performance, and he will join the dancing as well even though he doesn't consider himself the strongest dancer.

"I'm kind of a comical DJ," Yaukey said. "I can pull off mastering a dance, and look goofy and that's kind of okay."

Yaukey said he doesn't care about winning, but he's excited nonetheless.

"I am stepping out of my comfort zone and doing this in front of my peers," Yaukey said.

After so many years standing back and watching people he admired, he is just happy he gets to show what he can do.

"I don't think I'm the best in the world," Yaukey said. "but I'm willing to compete and entertain somebody."