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Talent showcase finds 21 acts

By Ed Brock

Sometimes whirling into cartwheels and then snatching up the microphone to sing, 10-year-old Roosevelt Gordon's performance blew his grandmother away.

"He just got this together himself and wouldn't let anybody see it," said Mida Jenkins of Jonesboro. "I was surprised."

Roosevelt was one of 31 acts to show up Saturday for auditions for the Southlake Kiwanis Club Talent Showcase to be held on March 13. He was also one of the 21 acts who were picked to participate in the showcase.

"My music teacher let me hear the CD (of the song "Turn the Beat Around" by Vicki Sue Robinson) and I liked it," Roosevelt said, adding that he then began working on his act with his teacher at school. "She said I would be really good and she was right."

Some 45 to 50 individual students comprised the acts that auditioned Saturday at Mt. Zion Elementary School. They competed in elementary, middle and high school levels, Southlake Kiwanis member and showcase master of ceremonies Lou Hisel said.

"We have a good variety," Hisel said. "We have our first bassoon player. We have a guitarist, we have several vocalists."

There was also a rapper, dancers, an opera singer, two clog dancers dressed as nurses and more.

"The high school talent we have is fantastic," Hisel said. "Across the board they're probably some of the best high school acts we've had."

Southlake Kiwanis is an "At-Large Partner in Education" with Clayton County Public Schools and as such provides scholarships and performance opportunities for area students. Winners at all three levels receive plaques and the top three winners in the high school level will receive U.S. Savings Bonds.

First place gets a $500 bond, second gets a $300 bond and third gets a $200 bond. Group acts will split the bond.

Also, the first-place winner qualifies to compete in the statewide Kiwanis Talent Showcase which offers a $1,500 scholarship for the winner.

The dance group "Endangered," composed of Lovejoy High School students Christiana Martins, Katrina Salley, and Angelica Jean-Louis, all 15, did not make the cut for the showcase. But after their performance they admitted they had just learned the dance routine the night before.

"I think we did pretty well for somebody who learned it last night," Jean-Louis said.

The three had danced before for a fashion show, Salley said.

"When we did the fashion show together we decided we had to do something else," Salley said.

The showcase will be held at the CCPS Performing Arts Center on Mt. Zion Boulevard in Morrow.

Admission to the showcase is $3 for adults, $1 for students and free for pre-school children.

Money from the ticket sales goes to the bond awards and any surplus goes into the club's project account and, Hisel says, it thus goes back into the community.