On Friday, Feb. 3, the City of Belmont hosted its first citywide talent show put on by the newly formed Youth Advisory Committee (YAC).
More than 100 people came to watch 25 acts that ranged from dancing to martial arts to music and even a live drawing session.
All ages came to share their talents, from 6-year-olds to adults. The top five acts received gift cards to local businesses that helped sponsor the event, and the audience had the chance to participate in a raffle.
“I feel awesome, it’s better than first place and fifth!” said second place winner Yakira Braunstein, 6, who performed a lyrical dance to the John Legend song “Love Me Now.”
“I love winning!” said Braunstein, who received a gift card to Fare PDQ.
Dancers took the top three spots at the talent show. Six elementary school girls from Heartbeat Academy took first place performing a jazz dance set to “Me Too” by Megan Trainer.
Stephanie Ramos, a senior at Carlmont, placed third with her hip hop routine.
Fourth and fifth place were musicians. Liam Dowling, 13, took fourth place playing the trombone. The jazz ensemble Archdukes of Jazz – Matt Bowker, Campbell Soutter, Olivia De Voy and Liam Jocson, all seniors at Carlmont – won fifth.
“We chose to do a talent show because [YAC] thought it was important to have an event that featured the youth of Belmont,” said Isaac Braunstein, a member of the YAC. “Most city events are targeted to adults and elementary school children, which leaves the teens out.”
The 15-member Belmont YAC was formed in the fall of 2016 as part of the Parks and Recreation Department and consists of students from sixth to 12th grade. The YAC is responsible for reaching out to the youth of Belmont and providing a teen perspective to the City Council and Parks and Recreation Department.
“Events like these are important for the city of Belmont because they bring the city together and build the community,” said Sam Perry, another YAC member. “They keep Belmont a prime location for families and make Belmont a more desirable place to live.”
The audience enjoyed the show which lasted more than two hours. YAC members agreed that it was a success, and the contestants felt happy about their performances and excited for the opportunity.