Magazine article Warrior - Citizen

SOLDIER SHOW Highlights Diversity

Magazine article Warrior - Citizen

SOLDIER SHOW Highlights Diversity

Article excerpt

TINY WITH A BIG VOICE. Than what some folks call Sgt. Dawn Florence, a Soldier with the 80th Training Command who recently landed a gig with the Morale Welfare Recreation's Army Soldier Show.

Ever since she can remember Florence has been singing.

"I was singing when I was learning to talk," she said. "When the other kids were riding their bikes, I would be singing with my toy microphone and my little boom box on our porch."

After spending her first five years on active duty, Florence joined the Army Reserve in 2007. She has sent in audition tapes to the show every year since 2003. Florence said she made her singing video in the day room at Fort Jackson, S.C. while she was in Human Resources school in December 2008.

At the follow-up live audition at Fort Belvoir, Va., her parents came to support her. She quickly found out that all the glitz and glamour of being on stage truly take an enormous amount of hard work. Her first 10 days at Fort Belvoir proved to be mentally and physically challenging.

"From morning until night, we're doing movements, such as dancing, stretching, Pilates, and then choreography, scene transitions and vocal training," said Florence.

"Initially, the judges and crew wanted to see how well and how quickly we could pick up new genres, like country, pop, rhythm and blues, rock, and how quickly we could memorize lyrics and speaking lines," she said. "They also wanted to see how efficiently we could come together as one team."

Probably one of the best aspects of the show, she explained, is the "amazing variety of the performers; their talents are just fantastic, and everyone's different cultures make it so much better. …

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