Brittney Mowrey first caught the itch when she was 3 years old and found herself falling in love with a pair of "noisy shoes" that belonged to someone else. The tot was already taking ballet and tap, but the art of clogging — a European form of folk dancing — was an unfamiliar step. The $70 shoes were a little pricey, but her mom relented, after first getting a promise from Brittney to "stick with it."
She did, and the east Pasco dancer even went on to compete nationally. Now with 17 years of clogging experience under her belt, Brittney will show off those skills with 14 other finalists at this year's Hernando Pasco Has Talent.
This is the second year for the local talent show, which is sponsored in part by Pasco-Hernando Community College, Senica Air Conditioning, Spring Oaks Assisted Living Facility, Encore Music and the St. Petersburg Times.
After drawing a record crowd in its inaugural year, the talent contest was expanded this year to also draw from Pasco County. Proceeds from ticket sales go to the Pasco-Hernando Community College Foundation.
Nearly 50 contestants from Pasco and Hernando counties auditioned over three nights before a panel of 10 judges, all for a chance at a trophy and a $500 cash prize.
Weeki Wachee's Donny Van Slee, 18, came out to sing an original tune called Haunted. Nalani Hasty, a 6-year-old with an authoritative stage presence, came with her mom from Spring Hill to recite a poem called "To Risk." Adrian Sanchez, 17, and Sean Morehouse, 16, gave it a shot with the robotic dance moves they've been known for breaking into in the hallways of Zephyrhills High. And Brittney Mowrey came out to clog.
Unfortunately, as contests go, not everyone made the cut.
Those who did: Cameron Tretter, Jordan Evans, Richard and Ava Gomez, Erin Nieves, Jadah Carrera, Adrian Sanchez and Sean Morehouse, Nikki Dermott, Daniela Serricchio, Alexis Walker, Karli Ulto, Corrine Van Stralen, Samantha Nystrom, Brittney Mowrey, Robin Riecss and Mika Wescomb.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Mika Wescomb is among the finalists in the Hernando/Pasco Has Talent contest. Her name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.