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There is a lot of talent in this little town

The Loris Chamber of Commerce held its annual Talent Showcase at the Loris High School auditorium beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.

The excitement and anxiety of the performers filled the auditorium as they awaited the show to begin. In the back row Bree Wood, age 4, sat with her brother Britton along with her mom and dad Adam and June Wood as she patiently waited to perform with the group from Sally Woody School of Dance in Conway. All decked out in her blue outfit and hair curled, she watched as her brother played a game on a cell phone.

Samantha Norris welcomed guests and family members of the performers and stated the chamber hosts the talent show each year. She thanked everyone for coming out, introducing the Sally Woody School of Dance, Coastal Performing Arts Center and Melissa Kathleen’s School of Dance for coming to Loris. She said, “We could not do this without you, not only having groups, individuals have entered the talent show as well.” Norris introduced the emcees to the showcase, Sarah Carroll, Miss Bog Off Festival Teen; Ragan Denis, Miss Loris Bog Off Festival; and Chandler Abrams, who is on the chamber’s board of directors.

Abrams asked everyone to stand as Carroll sang the National Anthem. She introduced the judges, Lisa Kirby from Myrtle Beach who has danced and performed since age 8 and owns Studio 8 Performing Arts; Wendy Baruch who is an individual whose talent is singing and she is on the board of directors for the chamber; Caroline Blanton is a native of Conway and was in the play Annie; and the auditor is Kelly Barnes from HTC.

There were 26 entries in the talent showcase bringing delightful performances for parents, grandparents and guests to enjoy. Beginning the show were performances of Abba’s Mama Mia and Jayla Emilie performed with her guitar an original song she wrote, “Everything I Want in Life”. Other performers were the Tiny Tot Tappers, Jump and Shake and Banana Split. Entertaining the audience was Cruella de Vil with her Dalmatians and I Got Bills were unique to the show’s group dance. Overall, the groups ages 3 to 5 were the most enjoyable with their cute smiles, tapping or twirling providing amazing performances for their age group.

Winners of the Youth Division are first place, Azaelia Graves who gave a performance of interpretive dance to “You Can Fly”; and Madison Caratenuto took second place with her interpretive dance. The Junior Division first and third place winner was Ashlyn Buck with two separate entries in the showcase; her first place performance was a dance to Betty Boop style music and her second dance was a quick paced dance to “Yes, Yes I Can” where she won third place. The second place winner was Tomie-Lynn Sing who performed an interpretive style dance to “Don’t Laugh at Me”. The final award for Overall Talent winner was The Waiting Room.

The Adult Division winners were first place Baylee Payne who sang to Lady Gaga’s “Is That All Right”. Second place winner Caitlyn Burger sang “Shallow”. Third place winner Grace Andreucci performed an interpretive dance to “Every Heart Has a Story to Tell”.

At intermission Abrams announced that they were $40 shy of $100 and asked for the younger performers to take a bucket into the audience to collect more money. No amount was announced as to how much they collected though some of the buckets were filled with five, ten, twenty and single dollar bills.

Tickets were $8 and the 50/50 drawing benefits both the chamber festival queens and The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in North America; a non-profit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues. Each year the Loris Chamber of Commerce splits the profits between the festival queens and the Children’s Miracle Network.

Many of the performers were exhibited in last year’s showcase and will be seen in the 2020 Loris Chamber of Commerce Talent Showcase providing entertainment with their talent. Performing a talent of singing and dancing is the general interpretation of talent. Could there be a stand up comic or a magician in next year’s show? We will see.

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