Downey students showcase their talent


Amanda Lira

On Friday, Dec. 7, Christopher Vazquez, 12, Nick Vazquez, 11, Angel Gonzales, 11, Sophie Loulakis, 10, and George Loulakis, 12, take first, second, and third place after singing in front of their friends and family at the Cultural Talent Show in the DHS theater. Gonzales sang Bruno Mars’ song, “If I Were Your Man.”

Joey Flores , News Editor

On the evening of December 7, Cultural Dance Ensemble hosted a talent show in the B building theatre that allowed students to show off their singing, dancing, or comedic talents.


The show had a total of eight contestants who were competing for the prizes. Third place winners, Nick Vazquez, 12, and Chris Vazquez, 11, received two tickets to Krikorian theaters, second place winners Sophie Loulakis, 10, and George Loulakis, 12, received a $30 gift card to Chipotle, and first place winner, Angel Gonzales, 11, earned $65 cash for her singing.


“I feel like I did really great, and that I did as best as I could,” Gonzales said. “I was a little nervous when I first started to perform, but I wasn’t as nervous as I was when I went up last year.”


When Gonzales was announced the winner, the audience clapped and cheered because she was deemed a crowd favorite immediately after she performed. The student also received cheers when her uncle gave her flowers after she had completed her song. Gonzales participated in last year’s talent show, but she didn’t earn first place, so her victory this year pasted a big smile on her face. The judges’ compliments on her vocals also pleased her.

“We [judges] all agreed that she was the best,” English teacher Andra Macomber said. “Her voice was very pure and crisp and clean and so mature for someone her age. Her singing is obviously at an advanced level, and all of us judges clearly saw that.


Macomber’s consistent compliments on Gonzales’s voice stems from the knowledge she has of music. Macomber, along with the other judges, teachers Shari Steinberg and Dena Starnes, showed their musical knowledge by incorporating musical vocabulary such as “timber,” “vibrato,” and “chest voice” into their critique. The judges gave positive criticism to keep the night in festive spirits, which fit the theme that dance and Spanish teacher Richelle Mercure-Fitzl set for the night.


“I’m thrilled and overjoyed by how the night went,” Mercure-Fitzl said. “It was great. I think the judges chose great and I’m glad the show was a lot of fun and was very entertaining to watch. And I’m especially glad that the show was very cultural, because that’s what the Black and White dance was meant to symbolize- culture.”


Indian and Hispanic dances were incorporated into the Black and White dance Mercure-Fitzl referred to. Before the winners were announced, the contestants even danced to Korean singer Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” Aside from these end-of-the-night dances were dance numbers by the Cultural Dance Ensemble, which took place in between few acts at a time. Dances by an elementary school duo named Ritmo San Igual and a group of nine senior citizens named Los Hilos de Plata were also performed in between certain acts.


The cultural dance ensemble’s talent show consisted of entertainers, and plenty of worldly culture that was expressed through dance. The night proved that cultural diversity is not only entertaining, but unique and fun in its own right.