Contemporary dancer and grand prize winner Alix Chappell is all smiles after performing at the Kent Has Talent program on Saturday night. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Stars shine in Kent Has Talent finals | PHOTOS

Alix Chappell’s carefully choreographed dance literally took her breath away.

It also impressed the judges.

The 16-year-old Kentridge High School junior, a Running Start student at Green River College, stole the show to capture the grand prize at the second annual Kent Has Talent program at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center on Saturday night.

“I came out here to have fun. I wasn’t expecting to get anything,” said Chappell, who performed “Human,” an aerobically challenging, animalistic-themed solo dance choreographed by a friend, Connor Gorman. “This is a really good opportunity. I am really happy.”

Chappell, who has trained and performed under Tonya Goodwillie of the Kent-based Allegro Performing Arts Academy, was one of four big winners in the all-ages talent show organized by the Kent Community Foundation and presented by Denali Federal Credit Union.

Kent Has Talent featured dancers, singers and other talents in three ages groups: youth (ages 12 and younger), teen (13 to 19) and adult (20 and up).

Soprano Katie Jones won the adult division with her resounding version of the ballad, “Over the Rainbow,” which was written for the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” and performed famously by actress Judy Garland.

Jones, a wine distributor in Kent who teachers children’s dance theater in Auburn, was encouraged by friends to enter the contest after she saw a promotional posting on Facebook.

“It feels amazing, mind blown,” said Jones, who has been performing as a singer since she was a youngster.

Poet sensation Dalamari Holman, 17, a Kent-Meridian junior and Green River student who was last year’s grand prize winner, took the teen category for her reading of “Black,” a social commentary of what it’s like to be an African-American girl living in today’s world.

Holman’s brother, Dre’moni Watts, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Panther Lake Elementary, claimed the youth division with his quick-stepping dance, “Humble,” to the music of Macklemore.

The audience choice award went to Sanaina Kaur Dhaliwal and Jasmin Kaur Bains, who performed a Punjabi dance.

Grand prize sponsor, Marti Reeder of John L. Scott, Covington-Kent-Maple Valley, provided $500 to the overall winner. Youth prize sponsor, Cathy Wahlin, Windermere Real Estate/PSK Inc.; teen prize sponsor, Bowen Scarff Ford-Lincoln; and adult prize sponsor, Eberle Vivian, each gave $250 to the respective division winners.

Founded in 1986, the Kent Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has been serving the area for 30 years, awarding nearly $500,000 in arts and education grants and more than $300,000 in scholarships.

The foundation recently expanded its mission beyond cultural arts, education, grants and scholarships to strengthen and support the greater Kent community through partnerships and philanthropy.


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Alix Chappell performs her winning dance, “Animal, during the Kent Has Talent finals at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center on Saturday night. COURTESY PHOTO, Width Photography

Dre’moni Watts, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Panther Lake Elementary, took the youth cateogry competition with his quick-stepping dance. COURTESY PHOTO, Width Photography

Dalamari Holman, 17, a Kent-Meridian junior and Green River student who was last year’s grand prize winner, took the teen category with her poetry. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Soprano Katie Jones took the adult division with her version of the ballad, “Over the Rainbow.” MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

The audience choice award went to Sanaina Kaur Dhaliwal and Jasmin Kaur Bains, who performed a Punjabi dance. Emcee Bender Cunninghm, of 106.1 KISS-FM, interviews them after their performance. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Crystal Martinez sing “Burnr” during the adult division finals. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Navreet, left, and Prabhreet Mahal, perform the dance Punjabi Bhangra during the teen division finals. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

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