CHS’s Got Talent: In honor of season 14 finale of “America’s Got Talent” (AGT), we talked to students on Expressenz dance team who took part in the season


Marissa Ryan

Freshman Adare Haas

Marissa Ryan

How did going on AGT impact you personally?

Personally, it just made me feel like all my hard work was paying off. Like I said before, we train for 25 hours every week, so sometimes it can feel like all of your hard work is for nothing. This experience showed me that hard work really does pay off.

What was the process to get on AGT?

The process was definitely longer and more complicated than TV makes it seem. We were contacted by a producer around October, and we started the long process of choreographing dances, sending videos to the producers and changing things that the producers didn’t like. Before the actual audition episode, there are actually many rounds before. If you get through all the rounds, they schedule a time for you to come out to LA and perform in front of the judges and live audience.

What was the most rewarding part of your experience?

The most rewarding part was 100% the performance. It was the most surreal thing I have ever experienced and I can’t describe it. It was the biggest audience we had ever performed for. We were dancing in front of people like Simon Cowell, and we got a standing ovation and four ‘yeses.’ Sadly, the producers decided to cut us afterwards since they get the final say on everything, but it was still an amazing experience.

How was this competition different from others Expressenz has participated in?

It was extremely different. For starters, we normally only compete against other dancers. But at AGT, there were all different types of acts, and you never know what the judges are going to like.

Lily Claymon
Senior Lily Claymon poses with the Expressenz team. The team competed in season 14 of the show, but their performance never aired.
Marissa Ryan
Senior Lily Claymon

What was the most difficult part of your experience?

The most difficult part of the experience was the practices that we had in LA. We had lots of rehearsals that were super intense and hard because our instructor wanted us to perform our best. I am grateful that she pushed us because we performed the best we ever had.

Did this experience alter your feelings toward dance in any way?

Yes, after this experience I realized that even if you do your best in anything, you don’t always get what you want. I also realized that you should always be as “full out” as possible because there are many amazing opportunities that could come your way.

How did this experience impact your entire team both physically and mentally?

It impacted my team physically because we were dancing our normal 25 hours a week plus extra AGT rehearsals. We were all pretty exhausted, but knowing that we were going to LA was exciting. It made us realize that we were working hard for a really good reason.