Dyker school shows off its talent

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Sing us a song: Dylan LaBella performs Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”
Born to dance: Nine-year-old Fouad Farran busts a move to Flo Rida’s “Turn Around (5,4,3,2,1).”
Clowning around: Antonio Gnerre got crowds rolling in the aisles with his comedy act.
Girls club: Anyssa Cadotte, Arianna Gnerre, Caroline Hanna, and Sofia Passinisi cut a rug to the Fifth Harmony tune “Me and My Girls.”
Balancing act: Angelina Sporek performs a dance from the classic Russian ballet “Swan Lake.”

This was the one time acting out in school is encouraged.

Dyker Heights’ PS 229 held its second-annual talent show on Feb. 6, and more than 150 people came to watch students from grades three through five sing, dance, and try their hand at stand-up comedy.

The show was less a competition and more a way to display students’ unique talents, so most of the kids who auditioned got to go on stage, an organizer said.

“It’s showcasing their talents,” said teacher Daria Zarski. “It’s a lenient selection, because they are so young, but as long as they come prepared and take it seriously, we allow them to perform.”

And the kids didn’t disappoint, she said.

Student Dylan LaBella nailed Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” down to the last detail, Zarski said.

“He had a tip jar on the piano and everything,” she said.

And budding comedians got to work out their material in front of a live audience.

“They wrote all their own stuff, which is pretty impressive given their ages,” Zarski said. “They did write some material about their teachers, but it was all in good fun.”

Two students emceed the show, tailoring their interstitial routines to the acts to follow, one pint-sized presenter said.

“In one of them, I dressed up like an elf to introduce ‘Jingle Bells,’ ” said Preston Ferraiuolo of Bay Ridge.

The miniature master of ceremonies opted to introduce performers rather than do his own act, because he said he want’s public speaking experience for his future career.

“I want to be CEO and president of a hotel chain,” said Ferraiuolo, who once testified before the Council on library funding.

The school raised $895, Zarski said. Some of the money will fund next year’s show, but a portion will go to a former student’s family in their time of need, she said.

“A few weeks ago one former student’s mother passed away,” Zarski said. “The PTA is donating money, and since all three of [the talent show organizers] taught the boys in the family, we decided we’d match the contribution that the PTA is putting in.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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