Moody wins big in Operation Talent Search

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
Three small boys stand on stage waiting for their selected song to begin. All the hard-work, sweat and time they dedicated to learning and performing their dance has led them to this moment. Justin Timberlake begins to sing 'I be on my suit and tie.' The boys begin to move in sync and to the beat. The crowd goes wild.

The three boys, Devinn Dunn, son of retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. James Dunn, Quinn Burgess, son of Tech Sgt. Daniel Burgess, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit, and Garrett Locke, son of Col. Joseph Locke, 93d Air Ground Operations Wing commander, won first place at Moody's Operation Talent search and second place in the Air Force wide Operation Talent Search.

The recording from the performance in Moody's Hoffman Auditorium was sent to the Air Force wide Operation Talent Search competition. The trio won second place which included a certificate, t-shirt and $200.

"I was super happy," said Quinn. "[With my share of the money] I want to pick out a new Lego set, maybe the big police house."

The boys performed the dance two years ago in a Youth Center dance recital as a group of seven and decided to re-work the dance as a trio for this year's competition.

"My 'teacher side', chose three [different] classes to perform, but then my 'mom side' thought about how much Quinn would probably like to perform and compete in the show," said Tara Burgess, mother of Quinn Burgess and the Moody Youth Programs dance instructor. "I knew it would be so much fun for him and his two buddies to re-work 'the Suit and Tie' dance they did two years back. With that thought, I approached the moms and they agreed, so we started planning rehearsal times."

The boys were very busy in other extracurricular activities, so trying to schedule practices was a little rough. The parents made it work and any time they could get together, they practiced. 

"[The first rehearsal was] rocky, but so cute," said Erin Locke, mother of Garrett and 23d Medical Group health promotion dietitian. "They are such good friends and love being together. Seeing the smiles on their faces [at] every practice was priceless."

The practices, though limited, paid off in the end earning the trio a place in Moody history. They are one of very few acts from Moody to have placed in the competition.

The Moody Youth Center honored the boys with an award ceremony and reception, complete with balloons, cake, fruit and juice. Devinn's family moved before the event, but the staff had his certificate on hand.

"It really made them happy, and gave them a great boost for the day," Tara Burgess said.

I am so very proud of all three of them. We miss having Devinn here to celebrate with us, but keep his family updated and send pictures," Burgess added. "I know they are excited about what they have won, but I do think the most important thing they will take from this will be the memories of how much fun they had together performing on stage."