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What Should I Do for the Talent Show?
This is a question kids ask themselves, their parents, and their friends every year when it's time for their school talent show. The talent show is the perfect opportunity to strut your stuff in front of all your friends and teachers, and show them just what you’ve got. However, it can be difficult to come up with just the right act. If you need a few ideas, you’ve come to the right place. From the obvious to the original, you’ll find plenty of choices here.
Idea 1: Show Off the Skill You Already Practice
If you’ve been taking performance lessons of any kind, such as acting, singing, dancing, gymnastics, or playing a musical instrument, then you’re all set with an excellent stage act. You’ve been working hard on your lessons, so now’s the time to show off! Ask your instructor for some specific ideas, or use your recital or performance piece. If several kids from your school also take lessons from your instructor, the teacher may be willing to put together an ensemble act for you.
A note on performing a gymnastics routine: Make sure your school’s stage is large enough and safe enough to perform your routine. You may need to put down mats, or ask the teachers in charge of the talent show if you can perform your routine on the floor just in front of the stage. Get your parents, teachers, and maybe even your gymnastics coach involved to make sure the stage is large enough and safe enough, and to make sure you have the proper equipment.
Idea 2: Do the Thing You Wish You Practiced
If you haven’t been taking lessons but have your heart set on singing, dancing or acting, go for it. The key to success when you haven’t been preparing with a teacher is to choose your song, dance, or monologue carefully so that it fits your skill level well. (Here are some songs that work well for kids in talent shows.)
Practice like crazy—and ask friends, parents and family members for their honest opinions. Don’t get mad if their feedback isn’t completely positive. Use any criticism you receive to improve your act.
Idea 3: Karate
Although karate isn’t typically a stage act, it’s exciting to watch and makes a great addition to a talent show. If you know karate, put together a routine of your favorite moves. Write out the order of your routine on paper, then practice it and memorize it. You’ll get the most dramatic effect if you start out with the easiest moves and progress to the tougher, more impressive moves. Breaking a board with a chop or a kick is an awesome grand finale. Wear your gi and your belt. If you like, go up to the mike before each move and tell the audience the move’s name, and give them a brief description of why and how it is used. Although karate isn’t typically set to music, you might choose to play some for a more dramatic effect and to fill any awkward silences.
Idea 4: Drawing and Painting
If your favorite talent is art, take it to the talent show and create a painting or drawing on the stage, right in front of the audience members’ eyes. The key is to get the largest canvas or paper you can possibly find, and have a spotlight put on it so that it can be seen easily by the audience. Choose a picture to paint or draw, and practice the picture several times at home. Time how long it takes you to finish your practice pictures to make sure you can finish your chosen picture quickly, but still do a great job on it. On the night of the show, angle your easel so that the audience can see it, and try not to block the audience’s view of the canvas with your body while you’re drawing or painting. Again, music adds drama and excitement, and fills any awkward silences. When you’re finished, turn the easel to the audience, stand back, smile, and take a big bow.
Idea 5: Magic Act
Magic acts are a talent show classic. Your local magic shop can recommend tricks that are easy to master and don’t require lots of expensive equipment. Practice and experiment with tricks until you’ve mastered them and can pull them off with confidence. Costumes, music and an assistant add to the overall quality of the act. Your costume doesn’t have to be fancy, but make sure you have at least a top hat and a cape, even if it’s a blanket tied around your neck and a cardboard top hat left over from New Year’s Eve.
Idea 6: Pogo Stick Routine
My own son made up a pogo stick routine for his school’s talent show last year, and he brought the house down. He loves his pogo stick and had already mastered straight-on jumping. It didn’t take him long to come up with a few more tricks, which gave him enough material for a routine. He started off simply, jumping slalom-style from side to side, and then spun in a circle while jumping. A few trickier things he added in were jumping over a cardboard box and pogoing while bouncing a basketball. He also (very briefly) juggled three small foam balls while jumping on the pogo stick, and for the grand finale jumped rope on the pogo stick. It looked difficult and impressed the crowd, yet was actually pretty easy and didn’t take him long to throw the act together.
Choreographing this act to a fun popular song adds to the entertainment factor.
Idea 7: Yo-Yo Routine
A yo-yo act is something really unique and entertaining. Yo-yoing is something not many people do these days, so the audience will be interested in seeing your tricks. If you’re an ace yo-yo artist, put together a routine of your best tricks, set it to music and show your stuff.
If you're not already a yo-yo pro, you may be able to learn some great tricks in time for the talent show. Don't wait until the last minute, though. Some tricks are quite difficult and take plenty of practice.
Idea 8: Jump Rope Act
Jumping rope is something most people can do, but when you make up a cool routine and set it to hip-hop or pop music, it becomes a great talent show act. It’s also something that works well with a group, so ask some friends to do it with you. Practice your routine on your school’s stage as much as possible, to make sure there’s room for all that rope swinging. Fancy costumes are not required, but it looks great if you all wear matching shorts and t-shirts.
Not to sound like a broken record, but choreographing your jump rope routine to a fun song with a great beat will help make the act a standout.
Idea 9: Cheerleading
If you are a cheerleader, gather your cheer team together to do some dances and stunts for the audience. However, you don’t have to “officially” be cheerleaders to perform a fun cheerleading routine in the talent show. Get a group of friends together and make up a fun routine that showcases each girl’s tumbling and dance skills. Costumes don’t have to be fancy—matching cheer shorts and t-shirts in bright colors are fine. And don’t forget the matching hair bows! Once again, find a great song with a fun beat, or use the music your team competes with.
Idea 10: Hand-Clapping Routine
Although a hand-clapping routine doesn’t sound like it has much to offer, it is actually a really cool act that anyone can do. Watch the video above and you’ll see what I mean. Another plus is that no special equipment or costumes are required. Although this act is basically easy, it will take plenty of practice to master and memorize the routine.
Idea 11: Funny Skits
There are lots of funny skits you can do at talent shows. Additionally, most don’t require any special equipment. Comedy acts are often a breath of fresh air among the numerous dance routines and ballad singers found in most school talent shows.
Talent Show Tips
- Practice, practice, practice! Even though you might think your act is easy and in your mind you can perform it perfectly, you have to practice. Practice twice as much as think you need to. You’ll be glad you did.
- Have a parent, brother, sister, or friend video your act as you practice it. Watch the videos carefully to see what works and what doesn’t, and what needs to be changed or improved.
- Choose great music. Music adds energy, excitement, and a professional quality to your act.
- Remember that only a few people are on the front row. Don’t forget about the majority of your audience, who are watching from farther away or off to the side. If you’re speaking during your act, speak clearly, slowly and loudly so that everyone can hear and understand you. Whether you’re speaking or not, hold your head up, stand or sit up straight, wear bright colors, smile, and take your time. There’s no need to rush through your act.
- Just before you go on stage, take a deep breath, relax, smile and have fun!
- If you mess up, just smile, laugh, and keep going. If someone in your group messes up, ignore it and keep going. No one is perfect, and mistakes do happen. In fact, mistakes can be very funny and make your act even more entertaining. If you laugh about your mistake, the audience will laugh with you and enjoy the show even more.
- When you’re finished, stand up tall, smile, wave to the audience, take a big, long bow, then wave again and walk—don’t run—off the stage.
Kaelyn on May 06, 2020:
I’m doing a talent show but I can’t do these because Quarantine
Charlie on May 05, 2020:
I am very good at singing but i'd rather keep that a hidden skill that I have and I am super bad at literally anything else
grub on February 19, 2020:
I am sort of shy though so i don't know if i could do any of this
maya on February 02, 2020:
dane and sing my talnnt
Arianagrandefan on January 30, 2020:
Cool just I could like some more idea for me and my friend lol
Claire on January 09, 2020:
What about singing and dancing?
Mickey on December 18, 2019:
All video are too good, Love from my company arttree.com.au
Nala on August 04, 2019:
can you guy can come a talent show
Brianna on July 11, 2019:
What would you do at a talent show if you could advance to state?
CORTANA on June 26, 2019:
THAT WAS VERY HELPFUL
Mina on May 11, 2019:
I'm doing the Talent Show. It's in a few days. All I have to say is, don't focus on the people if you're nervous. Look at the very back of the room. And if you have people there for you find them if you can and look at them. They can encourage you too.
QueenOfHell on April 28, 2019:
Dramatic slam poetry here I come
Unicorn835 on April 27, 2019:
I really dont know what to do
pup on April 26, 2019:
I have a talent show in july and i need really good ideas.
Addison on April 16, 2019:
Thank you but could you add some more please
Faith on April 09, 2019:
My talent show is in may so I need an Idea, I kinda got one...It's a hula hoop routine.
KoKoBear_4595 on April 03, 2019:
Me and my friend are doing a talent show and we have know ideas.
kartilye on April 01, 2019:
i am 5 can i draw pleese
Regan Nguyen on March 28, 2019:
I love happpier
kikwi on March 28, 2019:
I want to play the piano and have a dancer, dancing.
can u give me some ideas?
Izzy Rogan on March 14, 2019:
I am going to sing happier song and I also love to sing
2104637463-57038250 on March 05, 2019:
This is really helpful!
anonymous on March 04, 2019:
i will break dance/drums
Amy on January 14, 2019:
wow just wow!!!!
sara121 on December 30, 2018:
I love to sing!!
SOMEONE on October 15, 2018:
What about singing?
Catlover7845 on September 23, 2018:
This was so helpful
Gabriel y on September 18, 2018:
i want magic i only know some of it
alex bonanno on August 17, 2018:
what about a tap dance
Poppylovesanime on August 14, 2018:
Yeah from my username it's pretty obvious what in going to do, but I wouldn't have figured that out without this website! Ten out of ten.
abby on August 06, 2018:
can you dance
Kaiana McQueen on August 06, 2018:
Mii on July 05, 2018:
Can I do comedy"
Yordanos on June 22, 2018:
I love to sing
slimeboy222 on June 11, 2018:
i wanna do card tricks
Baxter on June 03, 2018:
I want to dance!!!
Me on May 24, 2018:
I will try singing in japenese
violet on May 21, 2018:
Marwa on May 07, 2018:
I want to do magic with a partner but i don't have a partner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lane on May 02, 2018:
I have a talent show but I don't if I should do beatboxing or drawing.
cheyenne on May 02, 2018:
I like singing
kayden on April 24, 2018:
I like to do gymnastics so this year I am doing gymnastics I get a little stage fright at first but then I start to feel confident in my self and believing I can do it Love, Kayden
person on April 21, 2018:
it dont help me at all
Connie age 11 on April 04, 2018:
I have an idea why don't you do it by yourself I get stage fright and I sing on my own I just imagine there not there and it helps maybe you'll try something new or make a funny dance maybe you can make a funny song
doofan on April 01, 2018:
i loved these ideas but not what i need
ana on March 26, 2018:
Unknown on March 09, 2018:
I really wanna do singing or dancing but my friend who is doing it with doesn’t want to do we either of those. She wants to do comedy and I really don’t want to do comedy. But I said yes but we still don’t really know what to do. HELP
Taffy YT on March 04, 2018:
I auditioned to sing in 2016 and i was ok but my voice did crack a bit. Im not sure what to do now though because i can do a lot of acts like singing, dancing, piano and gymnastics.
Pupcake on January 30, 2018:
I wanna sing for the talent show but I did that last year alone and it was scary. I wanna sing with someone this year for my first act. For my last act I wanna do a gymnastics routine but idk who I’d do it with!
..... on January 23, 2018:
Anonymus on January 12, 2018:
I want to do art, like in drawing, but I can only draw anime stuff and things like that... I don't think I can join the talent show.......
pokemonmaster1798 on January 06, 2018:
I don't know what to do please someone give me some ideas ;-;
kelsy on January 06, 2018:
I did hula hoop dancing for a talent show last year and this year I dont know what to do.Does anyone have any suggestions???
Grace proffitt on December 28, 2017:
I am Go back talent show my go new
????? on December 05, 2017:
I rlly want to sing but i have stage fright i am a beautiful singer my parents say but im nervous! what do i do?
Thandokazi lokoto on December 05, 2017:
I am willing to uplift my talent I can sing,dance and act or dramatise
Posey on October 29, 2017:
idk what i can do 4 my school's talent show. all i am good at is piano but i did that last year. someone please give me an idea cuz the show is 3 1/2 weeks away
Bob on October 22, 2017:
I really want to sing at the talent show tomorrow but I don't no how to sing I don't no how to do any fun things
kiara on October 14, 2017:
god no what are you talking about !!!!!
Candy on October 13, 2017:
I don't know what to sing help me please
me on September 28, 2017:
i don't know what to do the talent show is a week away only!!!!!
unicorn power on June 19, 2017:
help me do this its so confusing
sweetie on May 30, 2017:
i don't know any songs but i can sing really good.
Can you help me?!!!!
what song should i do? it has to be easy!
Sophia Dalton on May 28, 2017:
Me and my sister are doing 2 acts for the variety show ( the show for kids with no talent ) I will be painting her and it turns out horrible, and the other one we are doing the same thing as the people in the video grade 5 talent show but with 3 people and we are in grade 5 so it works out! You also have us great ideas thanks!
Emma on May 25, 2017:
I can't think of anything to do with my sis and its tomorrow :0
Fidget Spinner Guy on May 11, 2017:
I always do magic shows and I'm very good at the piano but I did that last year. I might just do a Bruno mars dance for "Thats What I Like" .
hailey on April 25, 2017:
I'm actually having a 5th grade talent show and I have no idea what to do I would looking online and thinking well maybe I should just go on YouTube or something to find something out but I haven't found anything to do for the talent show and I'm really worried cuz I really want to do it
D2A on March 13, 2017:
My little brother is doing a talent show and he asked me what he should do. I am clueless! Anyone have any ideas for an 8 year old
JC on February 13, 2017:
Do bananas actually help you with stage fright and should I eat them since I have stage fright
Matthew on January 30, 2017:
My talent show is not far away and i dont now what to do i mean i really want to sing but i dont think anybody will like that im 13 years old so please let me know what you think
Rylee on January 19, 2017:
Thank you for the advice
Tecla on January 16, 2017:
This was great
Neausea on January 04, 2017:
I still can't find the right thing to do.
emma on January 01, 2017:
This is really cool! I am going to use my acting skills in this years talent show! My dream is to be on Broadway in New York City! That is where I was born.
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on October 21, 2016:
Great news, Lara! Congrats! Let us know how the show goes!
Lara on October 14, 2016:
At my school you have to audition first. I played the piano for my act and guess what... I got into the finale! (;
eeeeeey on October 12, 2016:
I am doing hip hop
drake on September 18, 2016:
Ashleigh on July 07, 2016:
I am 39 yrs old, I will turn 40 next month, I entered a talent show in 1986 at the age of 10 and sung I'm not going from Dreamgirls, and I won the talent show, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.
Ashleigh on June 08, 2016:
I could do a dancing routine. (If my school has a talent show or I can enter AGT if I like it)
Emmzie on October 02, 2015:
Answer me smartandfun I'm not very patient
Emmzie on October 02, 2015:
Hi lilly You should do gymnastics if you even know how but you should try dancing I play the trumpet do you play anything do yo do art I do do you love to sing I do there are lots of stuff do you play the piano I do as we'll are you good at writing stories or poems thank you bye
Harar on October 02, 2015:
It's not Harar its Emma (Emmzie or M&M)
Emma Katherine Stewart I have an insta so follow me
Harar on October 02, 2015:
I extreme cheerlead and gymnastics and I'm so popular and skinny do you think I'll do great
Ashlee on July 24, 2015:
I hope to compete in a daycare talent show by doing a chicken dance.
shash on June 08, 2015:
you should paint lots of pepoul will sing
Kyla on May 11, 2015:
I am good at painting and a good singer what do I do
Kyla on May 11, 2015:
I don't know what to do
Aubrey on April 09, 2015:
Hi, i love drawing and painting, do you know of anything i can draw easily? SORRY!
lilly on April 08, 2015:
have no idea
Carter on March 20, 2015:
This will do some good for me:)
Aiden on February 28, 2015:
I will really enjoy acting because it is fun. I will do that at my church talent show! :)
Brandon Hart from The Game on February 02, 2015:
Isabella, you can do just about what ever you are comfortable with. It doesn't need to be a mainstream activity like playing the piano or singing. Be creative and more importantly: Be Yourself!
Isabella on January 29, 2015:
Please help! I don't know what to do with the talent show! I can't do anything! I can't play the piano, I'm embarrassed to sing, and I can't play anything else!
ashley on November 14, 2014:
these ideas are great !
shalom on November 04, 2014:
very funny i loved loved loved the hand clapping routine l o l gave me really fantastic ideas
samantha on May 28, 2014:
Look at the inappropriate school talent,really good.
samantha on March 20, 2014:
I don't know what to do
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on February 09, 2014:
Hi Ken, yo-yoing and pogo-sticking can be really fun acts for you to do in the talent show. They're fun for the audience, too, because they'll be something new and original in a sea of singers and dancers. Be sure to find some cool, exciting music to play during your act, and practice, practice, practice. Have fun, and good luck!
ken on February 09, 2014:
i could yo yo or pogo stick