With every sharp kick snapped, lyric belted out and piano key played, local performers brought the Alexandria Area High School Performing Arts Center stage to life Thursday, April 22.

Of the 10 finalists selected for the Lakes Area Talent Show, Ethan Loeffler took third place for his piano number of Beethoven’s “Für Elise.” Aleah Dokter received second place for her contemporary dance routine to Ruel’s “Dazed & Confused.” The advanced belt Taekwondo demonstration, presented by Levi Gibson and Abby Kangas, won first place.

“I was surprised,” Kangas said. “We were pretty pumped.”

Though they practiced at least 20 times, Gibson and Kangas bantered back and forth about areas that could’ve been better. In one of his kicks, Gibson said his stance wobbled a bit and his foot moved out of place. For one of the moves, Kangas taught Gibson just for this demonstration.

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“Levi’s really good at learning,” Kangas said. “We did all the techniques correctly, it was actually really crisp.”

All of the moves the two incorporated into their demonstration were a combination of things they’ve practiced previously, as they’ve participated in multiple competitions.

From an original spoken word poetry piece to an Irish fiddle solo, a jazz dance routine to a singing and guitar-playing father daughter duet, the variety and quality of talent made it hard for the judges to choose just three, said Lynn Jenc, an emcee for the evening and Alexandria Public Schools Community Education director.

“We appreciate their willingness and bravery in devoting their time and talent to help make this event successful,” Jenc said. “It takes a special spirit to be able to get on stage and to perform.”

To watch the livestream recording of the Lakes Area Talent Show, visit alexschools.org/channel1.