Granite Bay’s Got Talent: Sarah Thompson

GBHS dancer Sarah Thompson performed in the semifinals of AGT.

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Photo provided by Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson (middle) behind the scenes and cameras with some of her fellow Chapkidz team dancers.

Granite Bay High School junior Sarah Thompson lies on the stage floor alongside her team of dancers, her heart pounding. She smiles under the flashing lights as the judges and crowd erupt into a standing ovation.

At 9:23 p.m., on Sept. 8, 2021, Thompson performed a hip hop dance routine alongside her dance crew, the ChapKidz on America’s Got Talent. In the semifinals, the Chapkidz dazzled the audience and judges alike with their energetic and visually captivating performance to the songs “Gasolina” and “Con Calma.”

Competing with ChapKidz on AGT was Thompson’s “best team accomplishment.”

“Just working as a team, being able to go on the stage and being able to make it to the semifinals (is) my biggest ChapKidz accomplishment,” Thompson said. 

Behind the scenes, Thompson felt “very anxious,” but on stage, that anxiety transferred to energy and excitement.

“During the performance, I was just so hyped,” Thompson said. “The energy was there, and it was just screaming on stage. We were all just yelling and having so much fun.”

Offstage, Thompson took a moment to recollect and reflect on the performance she and her team had just delivered.

“I was so proud of our team (and) I was about to cry,” Thompson said.  “I was just so happy walking (off) the stage and being able to look back at our performance and be like, ‘Wow, that was one of the best performances we’ve ever done.’”

   “I was just so happy walking (off) the stage and being able to look back at our performance and be like, ‘Wow, that was one of the best performances we’ve ever done. ”

— Sarah Thompson

Still, the success of performing on one of the world’s most renowned stages came with some sacrifices.

“It was a lot of pressure,” Thompson said. “We definitely worked through a lot of long days and hard rehearsals.”

Thompson has trained for these performances, for that semifinals moment on AGT, for years. At an early age, she started taking ballet classes—which she despised—after her grandma saw her dancing around the house.

Thompson’s negative feelings quickly changed. 

“I joined hip hop, and I just thought it was the best thing ever, so I kind of just started from there,” Thompson said. 

From there, Thompson made a professional career for herself.  Thompson, who goes by Phoenix Lil’ Mini professionally, has over 70,000 Instagram followers and has been featured on numerous television shows, music videos, articles and even several viral videos onlines. 

But the main construction of her dance career all began when she joined the Chapkidz dance crew in 2015.

“There’s a certain point where you can go by yourself where (dancing) gets a little boring or you get too much in your head (to the extent that) you need other people to give you support,” Thompson said. “I think once I joined ChapKidz, it was a good motivation to keep going.”

Ultimately, the work Thompson and Chapkidz have put in was worth it. 

“Just making it to the semifinals is a really big opportunity,” Thompson said. “I’m super grateful and proud,” 

Thompson feels particularly proud to have made the journey with her team beside her.           

“With the team, you definitely get to have support around you, and it just feels like a family vibe when you’re on stage,” Thompson said. “I prefer performing with a team just because their energy is so different. When you’re on stage (with a team), you have support (and) motivation (that) keeps you going.”

Thompson’s dance crew helps her dance her best and Thompson, herself, helps her dance crew dance their best as a leader. After Chapkidz performed in the semifinals of AGT, Thompson was the one who held the microphone as she spoke with the judges regarding her team’s performance. 

“I’ve been a part of ChapKidz for a really long time so I’m just honored to be able to have that role and be a representative for our large group of dancers,” Thompson said. 

As for the future, Thompson, who is also interested in the media production field, is considering pursuing a dance career.

“If I did have the opportunity to become a very successful dancer and I’d have a good stable job where I have an annual income and I feel like I’m supported, I would definitely pursue dance,” Thompson said.

“It’s my passion. It’s my art.”

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