niki dawson*Singer Niki Dawson (pictured) – who attended the 5th Annual Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine as one of the prestigious alumni – says it was her experience at the Academy in 2010 that lead her to audition for the first season of NBC’s “The Voice.”

She was chosen by Cee Lo Green and mentored by Monica – her ‘Battle Round’ was one of the most popular and received a standing ovation by the entire panel – and audience – take a look:

During this year’s Disney’s Dreamer’s Academy Niki revealed how she was motivated to audition for the show after going through the program herself saying:

“Disney Dreamers pushed me to that point to go ‘I’m gonna audition for that show …’” She says she’d tried out for several shows before and was told “no” and decided that maybe she wasn’t cut out for a singing career – that is until she came to the 2010 Disney’s Dreamers Academy.  She says:

“It was like ‘reverse – no you need to do a 180 – you did the 180 to say ‘nay’ and now we’re saying ‘yea’ go back this way’ and I really appreciated.”  She says she went back home and didn’t try for a while, but kept hearing Steve Harvey’s voice in hear head from the Academy telling her to pursue her dreams – and she did, which lead her to “The Voice” and a “yes” from Cee Lo.

Niki didn’t actually make it through the battle rounds – but says she remains in contact to this day with Cee Lo and her advice to this season’s constants in the battle rounds currently taking place on “The Voice” is:

“My influence is more how can I deliver this song … that’s the thing that everybody should be focused on is the music – like stop worrying about all the outer elements, those are temporary – music is consistent, you gotta stay in it and focus…”

Niki Dawson is currently working on new music and is preparing for an audition for the Disney Channel.  A new episode of “The Voice” airs tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Now, HEAR what Niki had to say EUR’s Crystal Shaw: