When we arrived back at the camp, we were just in time for dinner! I was impressed by the fact that as we walked into the dining hall, all the campers were screaming “Hi MJ!” They did this in unison, in a sort of camp cheer.
And of course it was funny to see everyone in our group just kind of look around at each other surprised that the kids remembered them. During dinner, at a couple of different times, the kids would start chanting out things like,
“Hey MJ, give us a wave!” So they stood up and waved to the kids and then they’d go on to another chant for someone else.

After dinner the kids either went back to their bunks for juice and cookies or onto some other activity before they came to see the show. There were about 45 minutes from the end of dinner until show time, which MJ and company used to setup and rehearse. For whatever reason, I felt more confident this time. MJ had written some new material and to go with it, they had adapted catching dance moves. Also, the fact that we had new people performing with us made me even more intrigued because no one knew what this show would look like to all of these kids. I think also that because the kids showed such
enthusiasm from the get go, that everyone involved was looking for a great time.

This performance was the first one that I did not have a camera in my hand to record. About 10 minutes before MJ was supposed to begin the show, I saw David running around, with this look on his face and I’m thinking, “Oh great, what could go wrong now?” And I was about to ask but then I decided that if I
could do anything, knowing him, he would have already asked for my help. So instead I asked for the camera I was going to use and he said that they were “missing in action.” Great! No cameras to record anything! This was the first time this has happened, at least the first time it has happened at a show I was attending. So, off to the hotel rooms went Connie, Ariel’s mother, to find the bag with all three cameras in it! At that time, instead of the DJ playing
some dance music, it seemed to me that he should have


Deserae with a new CampHaze Fan!

Ariel Valle with a new Camp Haze friend!
been playing the “Jeopardy” theme song. About twenty minutes later Connie returns with the cameras (thankfully)! Tuesday evening’s show started with Ariel’s friend, Deserae, singing the National Anthem, and this girl can seriously put it in your face! The first time I heard her sing it was at a concert previously held in the Jersey City/Newport area and I was in the process of packing equipment up and I just stopped, cold, and listened until she finished.
Next, was Mindy Paddock singing a song by Kelly Clarkson from American Idol. Then the show ended
with all of the performers and dancers on stage. I think that one of the best parts about this performance was how involved the kids wanted to be! Almost every song was lively enough that the kids would be out in the aisles or just out of their seats dancing! I was truly impressed by the fact that they really had no inhibitions and just moved however they felt! These kids were really into the performers and were having a blast!
The National anthem was followed by Manny and Joy singing a few songs from last years performance, and then Ariel singing “I Believe I Can Fly,” which was another jaw droping performance! What makes this even more interesting is that she is one hundred percent deaf in one of her hears and twenty percent deaf in the other.
I believe that during the song “Skate Dance,” when Danilo Sobers, Manny and Joy’s choreographer and stage manager, jumped off the stage and into the crowd of kids and was showing them some dance moves, that the kids had the most fun.But that was only the first time! he show ended with an encore
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© 2003 Daniel Drabik/Smart Trax™
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