HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Two siblings from Hill AFB have danced their way to victory in a national talent competition, but need the community’s support to dance even farther.
The teens, who choreographed their own dance routines, submitted a video for Operation Talent Search, a talent contest for Air Force family members, and won first place in their category’s age group and “Best of Show” honors.
Now they have a shot at the Air Force-level “Entertainer of the Year” crown.
To win the contest, Shanoah and Tony Murray (ages 15 and 13) need votes from the community. Anyone can vote for the dancing duo through Jan. 27 by watching their YouTube video and giving it a “thumbs up.” The video can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/2hQUwGk.
They are competing against two other finalists and the video with the most thumbs up will win. Beyond bragging rights, Shanoah and Tony will receive $2,500 and a choice of a professional recording session or professional training.
Both teens are excited to perform and to be involved in Entertainer of the Year program, because of the potential exposure and additional opportunities to dance.
Remarkably, neither teen has received formal dance training.
Shanoah started dancing when she was 8 years old in Ogden, where some girls asked her to dance with them to Justin Bieber’s “Baby” music video.
“They really liked my moves and that’s how it started,” she said. “I’ve also been involved in cheerleading and drill team, so I have learned a lot of dance styles.”
Tony shared a similar story.
“I’ve just grown into it; I’ve been dancing as long as I can remember,” he said. “When I grow up, I want to perform and teach dance.”
The teens confessed they were surprised to find out last October that they won Operation Talent Search, which also garnered them a $1,000 cash prize. When asked what they did with the money — the teens said, “We gave $100 to our church, $100 to our little brother and we tried to give some to our mom, but she wouldn’t take it.”
They saved the rest of the money for Christmas and to help finance their ongoing participation in the competition.
As one of three finalists across the Air Force, Shanoa and Tony were flown to Lackland AFB, Texas, to have their dance filmed by an elite Air Force film crew for placement on YouTube.
Also competing for Entertainer of the Year are Capt. Rachael Jerrel, Dyess AFB, Texas, and Senior Airman James Pratt, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
Visit http://www.myairforcelife.com/entertainer/#murray to learn more about the Murray’s and the 2016 Air Force Entertainer of the Year contest.