The talented side of CSAA

Reed City — This school year so far has been another great one for RCHS athletics. Just to name a few, boys football, girls volleyball and basketball, equestrian, boys soccer and boys basketball have all done very well during their seasons. With spring sports under way, there will no doubt be more success for the Coyotes.

Many people don’t know, however, that the Central State Activities Association also has an annual competition for students in 9th thru 12th grade to represent their schools in a different way. The CSAA Talent Revue included 10 schools this year. Each school held their own auditions to choose two acts that would then compete in the final audition held at Lakeview High School.

At this final audition, a panel of judges watched all 17 acts and chose 9 of them to continue on to make the tour. Students in the tour then traveled to all 10 schools over a 3 day period and performed their acts. RCHS had the honor of having not just one, but both of their groups chosen.

When The Bleeding Frogs were announced, there was a slight rumble in the crowd, wondering what kind of band to expect from these young men. Wearing dress shirts and ties, members, Senior Owen Rushford and Sophomores Joseph Gerring and Matt McGahey, gave the crowd an unforgettable performance.

An original song combined their musical skills as they shuffled around using a variety of instruments, including a cowbell. Throw in some comedy, and the crowd went wild. Even after 3 days of watching this performance, a total of 10 times, it was still a show stopper!

A very talented group of young ladies were the only dance group in the tour. Juniors, Miranda Battle and Tristin Hartley, and Sophomores, Madilyn Allen, Natalie Baughan, and Alison Schermerhorn have been dancing for at least 10 years together outside of school and were members of the RCHS Dance Team for the last 3 years. These girls put in numerous hours every week throughout the entire school year. Practices include exercising to build core strength and working with each other to learn choreographed routines.

Calling themselves, Cinq (French for 5), they performed a jazz routine to “River Deep, Mountain High” by Celine Dion. They got rave reviews from the audience for their spectacular dance skills, especially their incredible splits and leaps.

The tour not only allowed these students to step outside their comfort zone and perform for a crowd other than their own peers, it also created friendships. School rivalry was put aside while schools welcomed the performers and cheered them on.

“With each performance, students gain a little more confidence. By the end of the tour, they come out of their shell and have a great time.” States Mrs. Schermerhorn, RCHS teacher and CSAA Talent advisor. The last stop of the tour had a special treat as all the groups came together for one last performance, a true measure of how these teens had enjoyed the time traveling with each other and starting new friendships.

Special thanks must go out to all the advisors, staff members, and parents that helped from Big Rapids, Reed City, Lakeview, Central Montcalm, Holton, Newago, White Cloud, Hesperia, Chippewa Hills and Morley Stanwood High Schools . This show wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s help to organize the tour, set up sound systems at each stop and transport the students and their equipment. Students interested in next year’s audition can find out specifics from their school’s CSAA Talent Revue advisor. Now get practicing!