'Super, spectacular showcase': 'Musick’s Got Talent' takes center stage at RiverPark

The Cannon Hall stage inside RiverPark Center was home to two live performances Sunday put on by Musick Studios as the local dance organization presented its 16th annual showcase.

The 2024 event — titled “Musick’s Got Talent” — was in honor of the dance studio looking to present its own rendition of NBC’s hit competition television series “America’s Got Talent” by showcasing all types of genres and styles of dance from a variety of performers.

“... Every (two) years, we do a different theme show; and this year we wanted to showcase ‘America’s Got Talent’ because we truly believe that we do have a lot of talented kids …,” said LeAnne Musick, founder and owner of Musick Studios. “... We have 346 dancers on a stage (that are) coming from Ohio County, Centertown, Rockport (Indiana), Lewisport, Tell City (Indiana), Owensboro, Daviess County — (from) all around.”

The showcase, which was performed at both 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday, featured a total of 62 performances ranging “from lyrical, to hip hop, to a tap number” and more, Musick said.

Live instrumentation like drums and piano also accompanied some of the acts.

“We do that intentionally so you don’t get bored,” Musick said of the order of performances. “We want you to always be on your toes ….”

Musick said there were “seven full days” of rehearsal within the past two weeks — four of which took place days before the first show.

“The kids work extremely hard. They are long days, they still go to school, they do a lot,” she said, “and, to me, it’s very impressive even from the age of 4 years old all the way up to our adults that are over the age of 50 are committed.”

When the organization started up in 2008, Musick said the studio had 98 kids. Currently, she said it has continued to see growth in enrollment numbers.

“... Within the past five years, (we have) kept a good 350 to 400 kids,” she said, “so (it’s) been consistent ….”

Braxton Miller, who was in ninja attire for a beginner boy street hip-hop piece, started with the studio four years ago following an experience on vacation.

“... Whenever I was younger, I went to (Walt Disney World) and I just saw these dance battles,” Miller, 10, said, “so I just hopped in one and I started (from there).”

Miller finds being with Musick Studios has its perks both personally and professionally.

“... It helps me make more friends and get better at my dancing skills,” Miller said.

For Brian Basham, his family’s journey with Musick Studios began after moving to Owensboro in 2016 when he and his wife, Sarah Basham, were looking for a dance studio for their oldest daughter, Addyson Basham.

“... My oldest flourished and got all the confidence in the world,” Basham said. “We saw (that) this is what she really needed and this is what she called home.”

Eight years later, Basham said Addyson Basham, now 14, is still with the studio while his youngest daughter, Avery Basham, 5, made her showcase debut on Sunday.

Additionally, Basham, himself, was part of the showcase as he performed on stage as a “dance dad” along with five other fathers.

Though he said he’s “not a dancer,” Basham looked forward to having fun and creating a memory he can share with his daughters.

“... I’m doing it to embarrass my kids,” Basham said with a laugh, “... but also to get other dads involved, and not be so serious in life and have fun with it. That’s all it’s about.”

Giana Fusco started dancing with the studio at the age of 8 taking hip-hop and lyrical and eventually earned a spot on the competitive team by the time she was 12.

On Sunday, Fusco, now 19, celebrated her final showcase with the entity after 11 years as she prepares to head off to Western Kentucky University in the fall.

As part of her final showcase, Fusco prepared a senior solo piece to perform — a lyrical to an acoustic version of Pink’s No. 1 hit “Just Give Me a Reason” — the same song that served as her first lyrical dance when she first started with the studio.

“It’s given me a safe place and a home …. (It’s) given me stability …,” Fusco said of her time with Musick Studios. “I’m really sad to see it go, but I’m excited for where I’m going in the future.”

As the organization gets closer to its two-decade mark, Musick said there are plans to expand operations in some capacity in the near future.

“... Last year was a big milestone for us (with 15 years) and we celebrated that. I think (regarding) 20 years, there will be some changes that we’re so excited about coming,” she said. “... We just love our city. We want to grow, we want to be a part of it and we want to embrace everybody ….”