Central's Got Talent

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Two years ago, when my son was in fourth grade, Central Avenue School held a talent show for grades 4 and 5. My son would have nothing to do with it, but I enjoyed hearing about the variety of his classmates' talents! I remember watching a group of about 5 boys practicing a basketball trick routine in the school parking lot. It was so great that they found a way to showcase their love of and skill for basketball. My son was particularly impressed by another boy's lip sync routine, and said the whole school clapped along during the school show. So, when my daughter started fourth grade this year, she and her friends hoped they would bring back the talent show, and fortunately, they did! Last night, we were dazzled by the various talents of the kids we've watched grow from waist-high kindergartners to confident fourth and fifth graders!

Though the student council advisors (two teachers) organized and worked backstage, the student council members ran the show. They took turns introducing each act, collected tickets and passed out programs, and moved the chairs, music stands, microphones, and props for the skits.

The variety of acts was pretty impressive! Becca and two buddies decided to do "The Cup Song" -- the Anna Kendrick version of "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" that she sang in the movie Pitch Perfect. (Watch Anna Kendrick's video here.) The three of them sat on the stage, tapping a cup to the beat as they sang. They came up with the song idea and routine themselves, and had a blast practicing at one of their houses, deciding on the costumes, and decorating their shorts with their group name, "The Golden Cups."

Other singers included a beautiful solo act of "Once Upon a Dream" from Sleeping Beauty, and also a pair of brothers and their friends who rapped Cabinet Battle #1" from Hamilton. How they remembered all those words was beyond me! Also an energetic rendition of the Super Mario Brothers song, with the singer in full costume. I think he's destined to be the next Frank Sinatra!

The instrument skits ranged from solo acts to groups of 5. Very impressive, especially considering some of the fourth graders have only been playing the instruments since September!  Dance acts and gymnastic displays were fun, too, and the audience oohed and aahed at the kids' moves. It was sweet to picture these kids practicing in their basements, either making up their routines or teaching themselves the moves from You Tube videos. One fourth grader also impressed the audience with her Irish dancing.

A few comedy acts kept us all laughing as the kids did knock-knock jokes and one-liners, while using funny props, "laugh" and "clap" signs, and even a ventriloquist puppet! A group of three boys also kept the audience in high spirits with their performance of "Humpty Dumpty's Death Scene." And four boys demonstrated the four-chair trick -- leaning on each other and then moving the chairs away so they perfectly balanced in a sitting/lying down position without chairs. Pretty cool!

Not all talents are easy to show on a stage during a talent show. I always joke that if I were ever in a talent show, I could sit up there with my sewing machine! (Honestly, I would never have the nerve to go on stage, so you are all spared that scene!) Two acts last night did a great job of showing off their skills on the ice, that many of their classmates have probably never had the chance to see! One girl appeared on stage in her full figure skating costume, skates (with blade covers) and all! She stood to the side while the audience watched a projected video of her jumping and twirling on the ice. Her brother and his friend wore their hockey jerseys while they showed their hockey skills in a video, too. They took slap shots on the goal, showed their stick handling, and whizzed past the camera while speed skating.

I love that our schools give our kids these fun opportunities to showcase their uniqueness. For some, I'm sure, they really had to step out of their comfort zone to go up on stage. For others, they couldn't wait for their chance to soak up the spotlight. During the parent show, all the performers were able to sit in the back of the room to watch their classmates' acts. They got a chance to watch their classmates show their talents and appreciate everyone's unique abilities. Central Ave has definitely got talent!