PRINCETON — During fair week this past August, Bradford teen Kristen Higgins was announced winner of the annual teen talent show put on by Second Story Teen Center and the Bureau County Fair.
Higgins, 17, a senior at Bureau Valley High School, wowed judges with her contemporary lyrical dance routine to “River” by Bishop Briggs.
Her win in the talent show earned her a spot in the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs talent competition, which takes place Jan. 18 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield.
Higgins has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She’s danced everything from ballet, tap and jazz to hip hop and contemporary.
“I’ve danced pretty much everything,” she said with a laugh.
She currently dances on the competition team at Elite Studios by Candis in Chillicothe and on the Bureau Valley High School dance team. She also teaches student dance classes at Elite Studios.
“Dance is a good way to express yourself and get away from all the bad stuff in the world and just lose yourself in the music,” she said.
While Higgins has competed in regional competitions in the past, participating in the talent show this past August was a brand new experience.
“I had never competed on a stage that big before, like on the grandstand, which was a pretty cool opportunity. It was pretty nerve-wracking,” she said.
The routine she chose was one she had competed to with Elite Studios and won Judge’s Choice, so she figured it might be a good choice for the talent show. And when her name was called as winner at the end, she said she felt nothing but joy and excitement.
“I was really thankful for the opportunity to win it,” she said.
Now in the weeks leading up to her state competition, Higgins has been diligent about fine-tuning her routine.
She is nervous about what’s ahead at state, but will be accompanied by her entire family who plan to travel to Springfield with her to cheer her on.
Higgins will be one of 28 participants in the talent show, which will bring together young competitors from all over the state with varying talents.
“It’s pretty scary, because you have no idea who these people are and you’re competing against them. They’re so talented, and they are like the best of the best, so it’s pretty cool,” she said.
Bureau County Fair Board President Kyle Burrows said the board is also wishing Higgins the best of luck as she competes in Springfield.
“We are proud to partner with Second Story for the talent show,” he said.
The third annual Second Story Talent Show will be Wednesday, Aug. 26, during fair week.