6th graders showcase skills in first talent show of the year

Kate Feiner, Contributing Writer

On Monday, November 19th, sixth grade students sang and danced in a talent show for their peers and parents instead of having a regular grade meeting.  The talent show took place in the Recital Hall and provided an opportunity for students to showcase skills that they have been learning in classes or outside of school.  The show takes place two to three times a year, so that students each trimester have a chance to perform for their classmates.

The sixth grade talent show is a tradition that has been happening for more than 15 years, and now,  Dean of the Class of 2025 Michelle Amilicia is working to keep it going, she said.  “At first, they are in sixth grade so they’re a little tentative about performing,” Amilicia said, but by the time the second talent show comes around “students are super excited to get involved,” she said.

According to James Rukin (6), audience members were excited because they “wanted to see everyone perform because they were practicing for a while for it,” he said his favorite part of the talent show was when students performed Michael Jackson dances, and after the show, he was even inspired to learn how to moonwalk on his own, he said.

Sixth grade advisor Rachael Cooper, thinks that the show is a fun way to see her students in a different light, she said.  Cooper found that show really helps to build community within the grade as “everyone is very supportive and cheers for the performers,” she said.

Steel Drums teacher and sixth grade advisor Alan Bates had two classes perform in the talent show.  For him, the most special part was that as sixth graders who have never played the instrument before, “they start out from zero, and by the end of the trimester they are performing in front of an audience,” he said.

Two of his students, Rose Korff (6) and Kira Lewis (6) thought that playing in a group was very helpful, because if they messed up it wouldn’t be too obvious, they said.  According to Korff, they “practiced the songs so much that [playing on stage] didn’t really feel different”. Both of them were very excited to perform, and also enjoyed watching their friends perform, they said.

According to Korff, the talent show also had MCs, who were very funny, and helped with transitions between the acts.  The faculty tries to pick “responsible, outgoing students that are okay with doing things on the fly, and have humorous personalities” to be MCs, Amilicia said.

Now that MD deans stay with their grades for three years, Ms. Amilicia is hoping to continue having talent shows with her class as they travel through seventh and eighth grade.  As of now, the sixth grade is the only grade to have a talent show.  Her favorite part of the talent show is “seeing the joy of the students on stage when their peers are clapping or cheering for them.”

She also uses the talent show as a way to teach her students what it means to step out of their comfort zone and thinks the sense of accomplishment that students have at the end is a very important reason to continue this tradition in the years to come, she said.