Trousdale students dance, sing to showcase talents
by DELANEY WALKER, Banner Staff Writer
Jun 23, 2013 | 785 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trousdale’s Got Talent
JOSEPH SETTLE danced up a storm in the Michael Jackson-inspired act performed in the first showing of Trousdale’s Got Talent Friday night. Banner photos, DELANEY WALKER
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The “Trousdale’s Got Talent” event held at Bradley Central High School brought a smile to the faces of audience members ready to see their favorite students sing and dance the night away.

Marilyn Sherlin, director of music and arts at Trousdale School, started the night off with greetings to the audience.

“If you don’t know what Trousdale is, we serve adults with intellectual disabilities ages 22 and up,” Sherlin said. “I have been with them almost six years and what a joy.”

She explained the school has 29 students, but only 27 would be performing due to vacations.

Continued Sherlin, “All of the teachers and volunteers agreed, and we signed a disclaimer that we have no idea what you will see tonight. At this point, we pretty much relax and say whatever is going to happen will happen.”

Eleven acts comprised the show based off of the hit talent show, “America’s Got Talent.” Three judges, Ben, “D” and Nigel, judged the 11 acts — each judge with a personality about as big as the students’ talents. Of the 11 acts performed, eight of them were performed by students. Only three were told they would not be flying out to Las Vegas for the next stage of the competition.

Slick Cannon was the host for the evening.

“You are in store for an incredible show tonight. Welcome to... Trousdale’s Got Talent,” Cannon said. “You are in store for an incredible night with great acts that we need to take a look at in just a little bit.”

A series of “flashbacks” were shown as students performed some fan favorite acts from previous years. The following acts included: MJ, Joy Cathedral Sanctuary Choir, Disco Fever, Juggling Jim, Highlands Dark Side, They’re Back, Sweet Tones, Aqua Divas, the Blue Beat and Insight.

Students continuously gave their all for each act. Chelsey Kimsey, volunteer choreographer, said their energy on stage was the same she saw during practice.

“Everyday they come in and it is fresh to them. They always have a really good time,” Kimsey said. “It is really inspiring and it helps other people, like the teachers, to get rejuvenated and not feel so mundane.”

Sherlin explained what audience members could not see were the 25 volunteers helping with quick costume changes in the back. Audience members also missed seeing the interaction between students behind the curtains.

“I think one of the things that stand out to me is they are their biggest cheerleaders. They cheer each other on,” Sherlin said. “It is not ‘Oh, I didn’t get that part.’ It is, ‘You did awesome.’ When they go backstage, what you can’t see is that the ones back there are screaming and yelling for those on stage.”

Kimsey said she was excited for the audience to see what students had worked so hard on since January.

“The students are amazing. I’ve loved every minute of this year. They are so talented and they inspire me everyday,” Kimsey said. “This program as a whole is just phenomenal, and I know the audience are just going to be thrilled by it.”

Sherlin said students had the opportunity to see two shows this year: The Sister Act and the Blue Men. Both had heavy influences on the show. The first was seen in the Joy Cathedral Sanctuary Choir’s performance of “Oh Happy Day.” The second was seen at every step of the show with mischievous blue men performing and causing mayhem at every step of the performance.

At one point, a blue man insisted on showing their act following the students’ blue men performance with glowsticks and blue exercise balls. What followed next was absolute chaos as giant beach balls were released on audience members. Smiles, laughter and shouts were heard as those in attendance took the chance to clobber their neighbors and pass the oversized balls.

The spotlight shined bright on Trousdale’s students as they smiled in their blue school shirts for the final number. Fans, friends and family members swarmed the stage to offer their congratulations at the end of the show. The students were only too happy to oblige with smiles, hugs and autographs.