‘Marquette’s Got Talent’

Dennis Tracy


Soarise, the Irish dance team, grew to be five times last year's size. They will perform Thursday at Marquette's Got Talent.

“Talent” has a wide array of meanings, ranging from examples of singing or dancing to people balancing a spoon on their nose. Popular TV shows like “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” have shown people just how loosely the term “talent” can be taken. Thursday, Marquette students, faculty, staff and alumni will get the opportunity to showcase their talents to campus at “Marquette’s Got Talent.”  

The show will prove to have a broad spectrum of variety this year. For one student in particular, “Marquette’s Got Talent” will provide him with the chance to perform in front of the Marquette community for the first time. Carlos Vindel Alfaro, a junior in the College of Engineering, said he decided to participate in “Marquette’s Got Talent” just over two weeks ago.

Vindel does have some experience in front of audiences other than the Marquette community.

“I started playing music when I was five years old, and started performing in front of audiences when I was about seven years old,” he said. “I started playing piano, and started progressively learning other instruments. I feel that is my biggest passion, so I started from there.”  

He will be playing two songs at this year’s talent show, one of which will be a cover of Selena Gomez’s “It Ain’t Me,” and the other, Vindel said, is a surprise.

While some students are putting together a last-minute act, others have been practicing their routines for weeks now. The Irish Dance Team, Soarise, falls under the latter category, and will be performing a dance routine to an Irish song.  

Annabel Engelhardt, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, and Kaitlin Shea, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, are the two founders of the Irish Dance Team.  

“Last year, we came to school, and there wasn’t an Irish Dance Team,” Engelhardt said. She said that the two “have been competing against each other since we were really little. We are both from different states, but we knew each other, and we were like, ‘We need to start an Irish Dance Club once we come to Marquette.'” 

The Irish Dance Team has gone from three members at last year’s talent show to fifteen this year. “Marquette’s Got Talent” last year was the team’s first and only performance since they did not even become an official organization until November 2016. The group did some smaller events throughout the year, but they have several big plans for this year. March 25, 2018 will mark the team’s first large showcase, where they can honestly say that it is just their show. They are also planning a teaching event, where anyone who comes out can learn how to do the Irish Jig.  

Similar to any team, there is a tryout process for those who wish to get involved. “We haven’t taken full beginners yet, we are still growing, so we want to make sure we have a solid foundation before we start physically teaching people how to be on the team,” Engelhardt said.

Both Engelhardt and Shea have been dancing since they were 4 and 5 years old, and they said their favorite parts about being on the Irish Dance Team are the people they have met. They are also appreciative about the opportunity that it has given them: The chance to continue dancing after high school, which is something both women love. And through “Marquette’s Got Talent,” they have the opportunity to showcase their abilities to a large crowd of their peers.

Another student, Lauren Lee, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, has a bit of a better idea of what to expect from “Marquette’s Got Talent.” Lee performed in last year’s homecoming talent show and got her nerves out of the way.

“I was nervous, but I really missed singing in high school and all my friends came to support me. So in the end, it ended up feeling really good and I got to meet a lot of other performers which is really cool because I don’t really get to talk to them outside of that sort of thing,” Lee said. 

Lee was not used to performing in front of the large audience that packed the varsity theater for last year’s “Marquette’s Got Talent” show, but, she is excited to get back into the limelight this year.

“I really wanted to come back and be more confident with it and be able to know what I’m getting into,” Lee said.

This year Lee plans to sing a cover of “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles.

For anyone who wishes to see these performers, and many others showcasing their talents and biggest passions, “Marquette’s Got Talent” is in the Varsity Theater at 8:30 p.m. this Thursday night.