Young talent big dreams

Contest allows local children to reach for the stars

Miami Times staff report | 2/20/2014, 9 a.m.
While finalists from prior competitions entertained crowds at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, new contestants nervously took to the stage ...
Young Talent Big Dreams is modeled after the many reality TV talent shows that have gained in popularity in recent years. community.

One sign that the competition is a positive experience is the fact that many children who don’t move on to the next level come back the next year to try again, Noble says. In fact, that is one of the most gratifying aspects of the contest for the organizers.

“We get to see the kids come back and get to witness all the progress they have made,” Noble says. “It’s really amazing to see how they have improved and grown in confidence.”

It’s also exciting to see the kids progress to other stages. Singer Bianna Pinchuk, the overall winner of the first competition, was recently seen competing on The X Factor, Noble says. And Johnny Wright, the dance winner from two years ago, received a scholarship to train with the school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York.

The idea behind the competition, however, is not necessarily to make the children stars. It is to give them a place where they can stretch creatively, dig deep and discover something about themselves, and realize they have value and special gifts.

“Maybe they are not going to go on and become the next American Idol,” Noble says. “But every parent should encourage their child to get out there. It does wonders for their self-confidence — to stand there and look the judges or the audience in the eye, and to realize that they can do it. That experience, that self-confidence, translates to anything they do in life — whether is business, or science, or whatever they choose to do in their future.”

Because of that, Noble says, “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have that experience.”

The Preliminaries

Audition dates and locations for the Young Talent, Big Dreams contest include the following. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

• Sat. March 1, Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Complex 3000 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens

• Sun., March 2, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 112th St., Cutler Bay

• Sat., March 22, Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami

• Sat. and Sun., April 5-6, Actors’ Playhouse Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

Semi Finals are scheduled for April 26-27 and finals are on Saturday, May 3 at the Miracle Theater. For more information, call 305-444-9293 or see www.actorsplayhouse.org/young_talent.htm.