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Night to Shine: Spotlighting talented teens for 22 years

It’s a night for talented teens to sparkle in the spotlight.

The curtain rises on the 22nd annual Night to Shine at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Helena Civic Center.

From original piano pieces, to jazz ensembles, to a “Revolution” dance choreographed to the Beatles’ hit - this year’s Night to Shine talent show serves up acts to suit many a taste.

Transport yourself to New Orleans for a Mardi Gras-inspired gala night of festivities.

Tickets are $10 to $15 and are on sale now.

“It’s an original piece, said composer and pianist Ethan Hills of “Through Tartarus,” a work he wrote and will perform on piano. ”It’s a reference to Greek mythology. Tartarus is beneath hell - beneath Hades.”

The song has a dark sound, he said, which is what inspired its name.

“It’s a theme on variations,” he added, describing it as ”maybe romantic modernism.”

“It’s my first time to perform in Night to Shine,” said the Helena High School senior. “I played piano when I was young but quit in fifth grade.” He took up cello in middle school and recently returned to piano.

Nine Queen City Ballet dancers take to the stage to perform a jazz/contemporary dance version of “Revolution.”

“This is a piece that we’ve done before. We did it two years ago in a show, ‘British Invasion,’” said HHS junior Maia Parisot. “We added a little choreography to it.”

Dancers from Queen City have performed previously in Night to Shine, she said, so this mixed group of HHS and Capital High School dancers, age 14 through 18, were eager to carry on the tradition that’s been passed down.

“This is definitely jazz contemporary,” Parisot said of what to expect. “It’s just a fun piece.”

“It’s fun to not do ballet,” added HHS senior Ellie Snyder.

“It’s just fun to work together with a broader audience,” agreed CHS junior Anna Carter. “A lot of the same people come to ballet - more people come to this. There’s more variety.”

And it’s a chance for their peers to see them dance.

“Not a lot of ballet-goers are high school students,” said Parisot.

And, for a whole different take on dance there’s the dubstepping Joshua Ginnity, a senior at Helena High.

His solo dance to “Need Your Love,” is his own mix of choreography to a song by English singer Ellie Goulding.

Ginnity started dancing at the end of eighth grade, he said, when he taught himself the moonwalk.

Then he expanded his dance skills with German Industrial Dancing, Bollywood, hip-hop, dubstep and more, teaching himself by watching dance videos.

He describes his dance as a mix of hip-hop, popping and locking with some fluid motions, gliding and spinning.

“I really enjoy dancing a lot,” he said. “It would be amazing if I could be paid to dance. I’d drop everything to go do it.”

For now, he’s planning to minor next year in dance at the University of Montana and major in animation.

And speaking of animation, the Disney hit, “Hercules” is at the heart of Josh Fuller’s piano and vocal solo, “Go the Distance.”

“It just spoke to me - it’s a song about an underdog...this piece describes a lot about me,” said the HHS junior. “I learned not giving up from a great teacher. It just spoke to me about never giving up no matter what life throws at you.”

He grew up listening to the Beatles, he said, and their songs about peace inspired him. Although he loves music, he’s also interested in a future in law or politics.

“I would love to be able to do something for the world," he said. "I want to help cause peace.”

As to his upcoming performance, he said, “I just hope it inspires people to not give up on their dreams because dreams are what help us aspire to greatness. Maybe it will inspire one person in the audience to go the distance to meet their goals.”

These four acts are just a sneak peek of the 18 performances on stage Tuesday night.

Also on tap are Irish dance, tap dance, ukulele, original vocals, a string quartet and several multi-instrumental works.

For tickets, call the civic center at 447-8481 or

Sponsored by the Helena Community Credit Union, Night to Shine is cooperatively produced by the two high school DECA clubs, which help train students in marketing and public relations. Proceeds from the show fund DECA members’ attendance at the annual international conference, which is in Orlando, Florida, this year.

Reporter Marga Lincoln can be reached at 447-4083



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The 22nd Night to Shine showcased a variety of talent by local high-schoolers Tuesday night at the Helena Civic Center.

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