July 17, 2008

Talent Show Packs ‘Em into Waterfront Park

By Alexis Garrobo, The Beaufort Gazette, S.C.

Jul. 17--The grass was barely visible for the people at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park as friends and family showed up to cheer on competitors in the Water Festival's Talent Show on Wednesday evening.

Unable to decide which dance troupe had more talent, the judges declared a tie between Beaufort Academy of Dance's Teens and its Dancers in the youth dance division of the show. The Teens performedto Vanessa Amorosi's "Absolutely Everybody" and the Dancers jumped their way through The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men."The Talent Show sponsored by Beaufort Hardscapes and Brick Co. was divided into two parts, a youth and an adult division Within those categories were dance and vocal competitions. More than 30 acts were slated to perform over the course of the evening.

Members of the Dancers, Kristyn Weidenhof, 14, Erin Witt, 12, and Dustin Mullins, 14, were very happy to win this year's dance competition and said it gave their team more confidence. The group, which has been performing together for about five years, returned last week from a national dance competition in Orlando, Fla.

"This is a big step for us because our team has gotten closer," Weidenhof said.

"We did really well," Mullins said.

The winner of the youth vocal division was three-year veteran performer, 13-year-old Jean Claire Bridges. She sang a rendition of Taylor Swift's"Our Song." Bridges said she has practiced the song for three months to prepare for the competition.

"I'm very happy (to win)," she said backstage. "Actually, (performing) wasn't very hard for me because I'm used to it. I do (the Beaufort) Shrimp Festival sometimes, too."

While some of the competitors performed at the Water Festival for the first time Wednesday, many of the groups have been practicing for months, such as the Little Hoppers which won third in the youth dance competition. The Little Hoppers -- Hannah Hart, 10, Cherri Fletcher, 9, Grace Swanson, 8, and Gabriela O'Quinn, 7 -- said they have practiced their routine for about a year but were still nervous to perform in front of the large crowd.

"When the music started my heart was beating like this," said Swanson as she pumped her arms at her chest.

"Yeah, but we did good. We messed up once but I don't think anyone noticed," Hart said.

Ages 6 to 9 -- Individual: None; Group: Peewees, first; Petites, second; Little Hoppers, third

Ages 10-13 -- Indvidual: Jean Claire Bridges, first; Kaitlyn Sayre, second; Elna Muckenfuss, third. Group: Dancers and Teens (tie for first); Tapping Girls, third

Ages 14-17 -- Individual: Samee Cannon, first; Jasmine Lynes, second; Logan Gannon, third. Group: Grace & Jake, first; Irish Dancers, second

Ages 18-49 -- Individual: Sydney Metzger, first; Andrew Cheung, second; Ashley Way, third. Group: Elites, first; Tappers, second; Beth, Caitlin, Erin & Lauren, third

9 a.m.: Croquet Tournament, Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Antique Show and Sale at Carteret Street United Methodist Church 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: CAPA Cafe opens for lunch 6 to 11 p.m.: Lowcountry Supper, Waterfront Park


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Copyright (c) 2008, The Beaufort Gazette, S.C.

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