Dixie’s Got Talent contestants share their story, reasons behind joining the competition

Cassie Beatty, an American Sign Language major from Queen Creek, Arizona, and her husband, Jefferson Beatty, will perform at Dixie’s Got Talent Jan. 26. Photo courtesy of Jefferson Beatty and Cassie Beatty.

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Dixie’s Got Talent is a showcase of talent located within southern Utah coined from the ever popular “America’s Got Talent.”

For this year’s competition, there are nine contestants in the adult category and 10 contestants in the youth category. Adult contestants include Ralayna Amy, Jefferson and Cassie Beatty, Jade Flake, Eva Fry, Kivrin Glassco, Locklin Hammett, Nate Horsley, Kolton Madsen and Kameron Petsche. 

Youth contestants include 2 ONE Productionz Convention Team, Patrick Boudwin, Anson Burbidge, Ana Elisa Carnavale, Bryce Christiansen, Silver Flack, Ashlyn Holt, Ashley Mizukawa, On Stage Dance Studio and Andrew Rudolph. 

For initial auditions, contestants submitted videos of their talents. Later on, a certain number of contestants are invited to audition their talent in person. From that point, final contestants were chosen in the adult and youth categories. During the finale, a runner-up and first-place winner is chosen from each category. Each of the winners receives a cash prize as well as the title of “Dixie’s Got Talent” runner up or first place.

Upon nearing the finale of Dixie’s Got Talent, a few of the contestants have offered their story and their reasons behind joining the competition.

Cassie Beatty, a junior American Sign Language major from Queen Creek, Arizona, and her husband, Jefferson Beatty, a Utah Tech alumni from St. George, will be competing together performing a Latin dance. Cassie Beatty started ballroom dancing in high school while she lived in Queen Creek, Arizona. Her husband went to Desert Hills high school, and he started ballroom dancing at Utah Tech University. Cassie Beatty and Jefferson Beatty met on the ballroom team at Utah Tech in 2017. 

“It’s been a great opportunity to dance together again as [Jefferson] is no longer a student and therefore not on the ballroom team anymore,” Cassie said. “We enjoy creating beauty together through the lenses of dance and are excited to share our piece with everyone.”

Next is Kivrin Glassco, a freshman general studies major from Wood Cross. Glassco has lived most her life on the east coast in North Carolina and Virginia as a military kid. Glassco will be singing for Dixie’s Got Talent.

“I have been singing since I could talk,” Glassco said. “I’m competing in Dixie’s Got Talent because it was a great opportunity to push myself because, even though it’s impossible to tell, I have super bad stage fright, and I get so anxious.”

Glassco’s favorite thing about Dixie’s Got Talent is how professional the experience has been.

“I feel like I’m on America’s Got Talent… it’s also awesome because it’s already helped me make some connections which is great,” Glassco said.

Jade Flake, from St. George, is competing in Dixie’s Got Talent with her talent of singing.

“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember,” Flake said. “I loved singing and playing the guitar and writing songs.”

Flake has focused on making her talent of singing a hobby and loving it more every day.

“I’m competing in Dixie’s Got Talent because singing is something I love to do and something that gives me confidence,” Flake said.

Her favorite thing about being and working with Dixie’s Got Talent has been gaining experience. She also has enjoyed working with kind people as well.

These contestants, along with the rest, will be performing their final showcase of their talents Jan. 26 during Dixie’s Got Talent.

Tickets for Dixie’s Got Talent can be found at utahtech.evenue.net. The finale will start at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the Cox Performing Arts Center. More information about Dixie’s Got Talent and the other adult and youth contestants can be found on Utah Tech’s alumni website on the Dixie’s Got Talent page.