Talent takes the stage in Chicago Ridge
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org July 31, 2014 7:56PM
Grace Nelson, 5, of Chicago Ridge, dances to a song from "Phineas and Ferb," a cartoon. | Steve Metsch/Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 2, 2014 9:40AM
Gianna Walter was worried before a talent show Thursday afternoon at the Chicago Ridge Public Library.
After all, she was not feeling well because of a sore throat and an earache. And there were those nasty pre-show butterflies flitting around.
But in the end, Gianna proved that even a 10-year-old singer can rise to the occasion as she belted out “Let it Go,” a song from the animated movie “Frozen,” to the appreciative applause of about 25 onlookers.
“My stomach was twisting, and my heart was pounding. I sort of lost my voice a few days ago, but it came back,” the Oak Lawn girl said afterward.
Gianna was among nine kids who showed off their skills at the talent show organized each summer by Irene Ciciora, the library’s youth services director. Dancers, singers, a xylophone player and an artist took turns in the spotlight.
Angelique Clark, 11, of Chicago Ridge, battled those dreaded jitters and seemed to pick up steam as the crowd clapped along, urging her on during her rendition of “What Time Is It” from “High School Musical.”
Sisters Faith Nelson, 10, and Grace Nelson, 5, took their turns swirling around the floor in interpretative dance. Their father, Craig, sitting on the floor and in charge of the music, beamed as each daughter danced.
“They’ve both had dance lessons; (they are) very talented,” he said.
A two-girl dance team, Maggie Pratl and Katy Zamlynski, both 11 and from Chicago Ridge, danced to the song “Problem,” but didn’t seemed to have any.
Ciciora urged on all of the kids, saying, “You all belong on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ ”
Later, she said the talent show is something she puts on each summer “because it gives the children a chance to showcase their talents, and all of us have a special talent. Mine is reading to children. No singing. I give them a lot of credit.”
Amal Al-Rasdan, of Chicago Ridge, brought some drawings and paintings she has created. She had everyone laughing when, while describing a landscape, she said, “I like this one even less. I spent six hours drawing flowers that no one can see.”
“Maybe we’ll see your artwork in the Art Institute some day,” Ciciora said.
The diminutive Lily Flores, 5, sang a song. She was followed by big brother Alex Flores, 11, who played parts of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Queen’s “We Will Rock You” on a xylophone.
Alex was in the show last year when he asked people to stump him with presidential trivia. He dabbled in some trivia Thursday, but when asked which president was nicknamed “The Gipper,” Alex was stumped.
“The Giver? The Kipper? Theodore Roosevelt? Bill Clinton? Dubya Bush?” he said before finally settling on the correct answer: Ronald Reagan.
Despite his confusion, his mother, Cynthia Flores, of Chicago Ridge, sat beaming in the audience when her children performed.
“I like it when my kids entertain,” she said later.