The Dallas-based Exhibit Dance Collective, performing under Artistic Director and Choreographer Michelle Gibson, took the stage first with its show “Taking it to the Roots.” The powerful performance traced the contributions of the African diaspora to music and dance.
The New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies, an all-female masking group that originated in 1912 and was the first of its kind, also made an appearance under the direction of Millisia White.
But the stars of the afternoon were the young people who took the stage for the Second Annual Cultural & Creative Arts Talent Competition.
The 17 youths, who had been chosen earlier through open-call tryouts, took the stage and impressed the audience with a variety of talented performances.
The competition was divided into two categories, one for grades four through six, and one for grades seven through 12.
From among the seventh through 12th grade students, Rontrevius Foreman was chosen as the first-place winner. Foreman, a senior at Crowley High School, sang a cappella and also danced.
Gwen Broussard, a seventh-grader at Armstrong Middle School in Rayne, took second place with her a cappella singing performance.
Rounding out the list of winners was Breann Davis, a ninth-grade student at Jennings High School who sang for judges and audience.
Taking first place in the fourth-through-sixth-grade category was Brylan Ardoin, a fifth-grader at Ross Elementary School who performed a hip-hop dance number.
Second place went to Ross Elementary School third-grader Malaysia Augustus for her praise dance performance.
Jonathan Guidry, a fifth grader at South Rayne Elementary School, sang his way to third place.
The first place winner in each category took home $100. Second place winners were awarded $75, and third place winners were awarded $50.