Sat. Jul 2nd, 2022

On March 10, Leesville’s Dance Ensemble joined Lela Johnston, senior, in the annual Pieces of Gold performance held in the Memorial Auditorium.

For 30 years, Wake County Public Schools and The Wake Education Partnership Organization have hosted Pieces of Gold to raise money for artistic education.

Each year, students audition for a spot in one of the most exclusively cast performances in the county, and this year, Leesville was chosen.

In Dec., the Dance Ensemble and Johnston auditioned before a panel of judges including Senior Administrator for Arts Education, Elizabeth Grimes-Droessler.

April Grossi, a senior member of dance ensemble, felt “calm and collected” during the audition. “Well, I guess since we’ve been chosen before to perform in the past, it wasn’t as nerve-racking as the first time.”

Johnston felt differently in front of the judges. “Oh my goodness, I was so freaking out before auditioning! Even talking about performing in Pieces of Gold makes me nervous,” said Johnston.

Johnston sang a song from Ragtime entitled “Back to Before” while the Dance Ensemble accompanied her.

“We learned the dance in late November and ran it many times before the audition, and now we are starting to really clean it up and polish it before the show,” said Grossi of the ensembles preparation.

“I think as we continue to polish our dancing, we became more comfortable with the piece,” said Grossi.

As for Johnson, she credits her parents and Diane Covington, choral director, for pushing her to audition.

“I’m so glad Mrs. Covington asked me to audition! This experience was absolutely unforgettable,” said Johnston.

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