It’s been just over three weeks since they took the stage, but dance troupe Lost and Found is still reveling in their first-place finish at the Turlock Community Theatre’s Tam-Tam Talent Show on Jan. 27.
The teenage trio of Luis Isiordia, Elizabeth Davies and Nathaniel Davies make up Lost and Found, and at TCT’s first area talent show last month, the three dancers wowed the crowd through an interpretive dance complete with aerial acrobatics.
“It was definitely not our typical show. We’ve never done anything like this,” said Isiordia. “We walked into the theater and there was this great amount of talent…you feel the pressure, but it was still fun to be in the presence of such talented people, and that extra twist added to the excitement of just being here.”
The special twist to the Tam-Tam Talent Show is what makes the event so unique. During each performance of the show, a three-judge panel gave their critiques, but could also hit the “tam-tam” at any time they deemed an act unworthy of the top prize – $1,999.18 – bringing the act to an abrupt end.
Isiordia said that though Lost and Found was nervous a judge would hit the tam-tam as they danced, a positive outlook was key.
“We had to go out there and have all the confidence,” he said. “Confidence is not, ‘Oh, they’re going to like me.’ Confidence is ‘We’ll be okay if they don’t.’ Either way we were going to go out there and give it our all, and we did.”
From a group of talented performers that included bands, vocalists and other dance troupes, Lost and Found took home the first-place prize of nearly $2,000 – an amount which TCT Managing Director Kit Casey said holds significance for the theatre.
“The Turlock Community Theatre officially opened its doors in the year 1999, and the 18 cents represents the first year for this event, 2018,” said Casey.
Isiordia and the Davies siblings all dance at Westside Ministries, and earned their win thanks to a performance that shared the message of how God’s love can change the world.
Nathaniel’s character was one that had recently lost someone close to him, he said, and is grieving, looking for something to live for. Elizabeth’s character in the performance is also going through the same struggles, she said, and is attempting to comfort her counterpart.
Neither can find solace, however, until Isiordia’s character shares God’s love with the pair.
“There are a lot of bad things going on in the world, and (the dance) is about when we all come together and we all share God’s love, then we can make the world a better place to live in,” said Nathaniel.
“As I perform it, it’s just really hard to relate because it’s tough to think about it in this time, but at the end of the day we really have to come together and I feel like our characters did just that,” said Isiordia.
Through aerial silks and hoops, the three dancers told the story as they performed – something that takes quite a bit of work, they learned.
“Our bodies are what’s interpreting the message. It’s so hard to do without words, because sometimes you fall in love with it so much you just want to sing it, but you can’t,” said Isiordia. “It really is difficult, but you’ve got to dig in deep to what the message is and what we’re trying to pour out, because what we portray is what the audience will receive.”
Elizabeth said that the troupe began working on their dance in late September, completed the act by October and then added in some new moves in January just in time for their final performance, which earned them top marks in the competition.
“I thought one of the singers was going to win, so it was surprising,” said Elizabeth.
The three split the talent show’s grand prize, and plan on using the money to further their educations. While Lost and Found left with a prize, they hope the message they were able to give to the audience impacts those who watched.
“It’s the message of God’s love and his light, and how he can transform someone who’s grieving and speak to them in that pain,” said Nathaniel.