SAN MARCOS — They sang, they danced. They were all under the age of 11. Thirty-five children performed in 25 acts for a packed San Marcos Community Center in the first Paloma Elementary Talent Show on April 8. The show marked the culmination of more than a month of weekly practices after tryouts were held at the end of February.
No two acts were the same. Katelyn Hissong danced a lively hornpipe while Cameron Cruz laid down a rock solid performance of “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper.
For some of the performers, being on stage was a familiar experience. Roman Thudiere had competed in gymnastics competitions before, so a little exhibition didn’t make him nervous. Iyanna Davis has been singing for four years and loved performing.
But for others, like Beth Loomis, it was all new. In a confidence-boosting move, her father made himself a prominent sight during dress rehearsals so she would know he was there during the real performance.
“It’s tough for kids this age,” John Loomis said. “I mean, standing in front of the class room is tough. This is a couple hundred people.”
It could be just as nerve-wracking for the parents, if not more so. “This was her first time,” Mimi Nguyen said of her daughter Trina. “None of us (in the family) know how to sing and we know nothing about music and suddenly she wants to show up for the talent show … I’m nervous!”
The talent show was the brainchild of Kelly Hanson who used to run a similar show when she taught in the Bay Area. She said she expects to have one in San Marcos every year, particularly if it continues to draw big crowds.
Hanson stressed that the show was not a competition and that there weren’t any prizes. “Nobody wins anything,” she said. “They just have a good time. We don’t want ‘losers.’ They all try so hard. Paloma PTO President Christina Roachell said that no students failed the try-outs. They had simply been prioritized by need of coaching.”
Tickets were $5 per person. The raised funds went to the Paloma PTO, which pays for a music teacher, part of a counselor’s salary and a sports program. For now, Roachell said, this isn’t the focus of the events.
“I think maybe down the road it’s a fundraising possibility, but right now it’s for the fun of the students,” Roachell said. “We need some fun.”