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Song, dance -- and water bottles?

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By Corinne Westeman

Not often do Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and “Für Elise” share the stage with light-saber duels, cowboy roping and water-bottle tricks. Yet the students at Elk Creek Elementary School have a wide range of talents and influences.

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More than 40 students participated in the school’s talent show last week, displaying their abilities before classmates, parents and community members.

While coordinated by teachers, the students were not only the performers, but the stage crew and emcees as well.

The show included several instrumental performances, songs and dance routines.

Fifth-grader Keira Payne, 10, gave a lyrical ballet performance that she had choreographed herself.

“It’s great because I can let my emotions out with movement,” Keira said at a dress rehearsal, adding that she was excited about the performances.

Third-grader Maddie Hess, 8, sang Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.” Maddie said she really likes the song, and that she had been practicing it at home on her family’s karaoke machine for a few weeks.

“It’s my first time singing,” she said. “I’m scared and excited at the same time.”

Other students had more unusual talents, such as second-grader Sam Barber, 8, and his ability to flip water bottles. Sam said he got the idea from watching the “Dude Perfect” YouTube channel. He said he had been practicing at home every day for an hour to improve his techniques.

Art teacher Bryant Robert said the school held auditions and narrowed the show participants down to 22 acts. He estimated the school has hosted the talent show for 15 to 20 years.

“Every year, we’ve had some talented kids participate,” Robert said. “It’s a fun thing, and we love doing it. It’s a great chance for the kids to showcase their gifts.”