Talent United

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United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region (UWDOR) is hosting the 2024 Talent United Contest, welcoming participants of all ages residing, working or attending school in Dutchess or Orange counties. Winners, determined by popular votes, will be announced at the Celebration of Service event on May 8th, 2024, with prizes awarded.

Voting for top entries takes place from April 1st to May 1st, and the top three finalists will be notified on May 3rd, 2024. Apply now for a chance to be the 2024 Talent United Winner and showcase your talent to the community!

For inquiries, contact (845)471-1900 ext 3104 or email khagen@uwdor.org.

Let's shine the spotlight on you and your community!

The Contestants

Click their pictures to learn more about them and see their talent!


Meet Alyvia D.  Meet Brandon D.   Meet Evelyn M.

Meet Guadalupe C.   Meet Haley P   Click to learn my about Kylessa C.

Click to learn my about Madison A   Click to learn my about the Marist Equestrian Team   Click to learn my about Sadie F

 Click to learn my about Sadie M   Click to learn my about Victoria D   Click to learn my about Victoria F

The Rules:

  • Contest is open to anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Dutchess or Orange Counties.
  • Adults and children are eligible.
  • Video submission must be no more than 3 minutes long.
  • Video submission must be uploaded to your submission application. 
  • Applications and videos must be received by UWDOR by March 13, 2024 at 5 pm.
  • All contestants must fill out the media consent form. For those under 18, a parent or guardian must provide consent.
  • All videos will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will determine our top entries.
  • The top entries will be announced on April 1, 2024.
  • The top entries will be voted on by your community (April 1 - May 1, 2024).
  • You can share the link of your page on social media with family and friends.
  • Voting ends promptly on Monday, May 1, 2023 at 5:00 pm.
  • Winner will be determined by the highest number of votes received by May 1, 2024  at 5:00 pm.
  • All top contestants will be listed in the Celebration of Service program journal.

The Final Three:

  • The top three contestants will be showcased at the Celebration of Service on May 8, 2024 at City Winery in Montgomery.
  • The top three winners will be invited as our guests (with a guest) to the Celebration of Service.
  • The winner will perform (if possible) at the Celebration of Service.
  • Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners.
  • The top three winners will be featured in a UWDOR publicity campaign.
  • The top three winners will receive a donation to their favorite charity (501c3) located in either Dutchess or Orange County.

Our Sponsor:

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Learn More About The Contestants


Meet Alyvia D


Alyvia's journey in dance began at the tender age of three, a spark ignited that has since grown into a blazing passion. Her love for dance has been the driving force behind her dedication to the art form.

Among the many memorable milestones in her dance journey, Alyvia holds her first competition performance close to her heart. Stepping onto the stage for the first time marked a pivotal moment, reaffirming her commitment to dance and setting her on a path of continuous growth.

Beyond personal achievements, Alyvia has actively contributed to her community through dance. As a counselor in training at her studio's summer camp, she has embraced the role of mentor, guiding younger dancers and collaborating with peers to choreograph captivating routines.

Looking to the future, Alyvia envisions herself evolving as both a dancer and mentor. With aspirations to refine her choreography skills and inspire the next generation of dancers, she remains steadfast in her dedication to pursuing her dreams with unwavering passion and determination.


Meet Brandon D



From the age of seven, Brandon found solace and joy in the melodies of country music, which became his preferred genre. Fuelled by this passion, Brandon embarked on a journey to pursue his musical dreams.

One of the most memorable moments in Brandon's journey was his first concert. Despite the nerves coursing through his body, he embraced the challenge with a simple mantra: "Just be you and do you." This mindset has since become his guiding principle, empowering him to deliver unforgettable performances every time he takes the stage.

Whether gracing local open mic nights or captivating audiences at brewery concerts, he shares his love for music with those around him.

Looking to the future, Brandon envisions himself reaching even greater heights in his musical career. His aspirations include making waves on the radio and creating music that resonates with listeners worldwide. With dedication, talent and a boundless passion for music, Brandon is poised to leave an indelible mark on the world stage.



Meet Evelyn M.



Evelyn, at the age of 13, is already a seasoned dancer with a passion that knows no bounds. Her journey into the world of dance commenced at the tender age of three, and since then, she has immersed herself in the art form with unwavering dedication. While she explores various dance styles, including modern and jazz, it is ballet and pointe that truly ignite her spirit.

Evelyn's dedication to her craft has taken her to prestigious stages, including competitions in NYC and attendance at the renowned Joffrey Ballet School's summer intensive. One particularly memorable moment in her journey was competing at YAGP in NYC, where she had the opportunity to showcase her meticulously crafted solos before esteemed professional dancers and teachers. Attending a master class with a principal dancer from the NYC Ballet further enriched her experience, leaving an indelible mark on her dancing soul.

As a member of her dance school's company, the Little Feet Dance Company, she spreads joy and inspiration by performing for residents at local nursing homes in Orange County. Additionally, Evelyn serves as an assistant teacher for the pre-ballet class, nurturing the budding talents of young dancers aged 3-4.

Looking towards the future, Evelyn aspires to attend a prestigious college of fine arts such as Juilliard or Tisch at NYU, where she can further hone her skills and expand her artistic horizons. With a thirst for continuous growth, she aims to seize every opportunity, including summer programs at esteemed colleges or ballet companies during her high school years. Ultimately, Evelyn dreams of opening her own dance studio, where she can inspire and impart her passion for dance to the next generation of young artists. With her determination, talent, and unwavering commitment, Evelyn is poised to leave an indelible mark on the world of dance.



Meet Guadalupe C.



Guadalupe's journey in the world of dance began with a simple yet profound inspiration - watching her sister dance ignited her passion for movement. From those early moments of observation, Guadalupe embarked on a path of exploration and dedication to her craft.

One of the standout moments in Guadalupe's journey came when she was selected to join the prestigious Prodigy Program at American Dance Exchange, a testament to her talent and dedication. This achievement marked a significant milestone in her pursuit of excellence in dance.

Beyond personal achievements, Guadalupe has actively participated in competitions, where her talent serves as a source of inspiration and joy for those around her.

Looking towards the future, Guadalupe harbors ambitious dreams of becoming a professional dancer or sharing her knowledge as a dance teacher. With determination and passion fuelling her every step, Guadalupe is poised to make a lasting impact in the world of dance.



Meet Haley P.



Haley's journey into the world of performing arts began at the age of two when she took her first steps onto the dance floor. However, it was in fifth grade that she discovered her true passion for theatre, igniting a love affair with the stage that continues to burn brightly. For Haley, there's nothing quite like the thrill of performing, and it's a feeling she cherishes above all else.

Among the many memorable moments in Haley's journey, one stands out as particularly poignant: the opportunity to portray her dream role as Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde: The Musical" this past summer. It was a culmination of years of aspiration and hard work, a moment she'll treasure forever.

From belting out the National Anthem at high school events and sports games to lending her voice to the minor league baseball team in her community, she's used her gift to bring people together. Haley has also lent her talents to events like the Autism Walk, using her voice to support important causes close to her heart.

Looking towards the future, Haley's aspirations burn as brightly as the stage lights. She dreams of pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre in college, setting her sights on professional productions like Broadway or National Tours. With her unwavering dedication and boundless talent, Haley is poised to shine brightly in the world of performing arts, captivating audiences and leaving a lasting impression wherever her journey takes her.



Meet Kylessa C



Kylessa's journey into the world of performing arts began at a very young age, with her passion for dance blossoming at just three years old, followed closely by acting and singing at the age of six. 

A standout moment in Kylessa's journey occurred recently when she debuted her first solo dance performance for competition. This milestone not only showcased her talent but also marked a significant achievement in her ongoing artistic development.

Beyond personal milestones, Kylessa actively engages in community initiatives through her involvement with a scholarship-based fund linked to her dance team. 

Looking ahead, Kylessa envisions herself continuing to flourish as a triple threat in the performing arts—acting, singing and dancing. With unwavering determination and boundless creativity, Kylessa is poised to make a lasting impact in the world of entertainment.



Meet Madison A



Madison's passion for baton twirling ignited when she was captivated by a neighbor's mesmerizing twirls, sparking a love affair with the art form. Her journey in this talent reached remarkable heights when she clinched the coveted title of Grand National Twirling Champion in 2018, a pinnacle achievement in the realm of baton twirling.

Beyond personal accolades, Madison generously shares her expertise with the community, teaching younger enthusiasts the intricacies of twirling. Her team actively engages in community initiatives, participating in events where they perform, distribute flyers and impart their skills to eager learners.

Looking ahead, Madison envisions herself as a featured twirler at a renowned college, dreaming of gracing grand stadiums filled with enthusiastic fans. With a passion as fervent as her twirls, Madison's aspirations in the world of baton twirling continue to soar.



Meet the Marist Equestrian Team



The Marist Equestrian Team's journey into the world of horseback riding was as natural as it was inevitable. For them, horses have always been more than just animals; they represent a profound passion that was seemingly written in the stars. Many of the team members' journeys began with the simplicity of summer horse camps, gradually evolving into dedicated lessons aimed at honing their skills in the saddle.

Among the many milestones along their journey, one moment shines particularly bright: Rory Woods' remarkable achievement of securing second place at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's National Finals in Lexington, Kentucky, an accolade that stands as a testament to the team's dedication and skill.

The Marist Equestrian Team hasn't just ridden into the arena alone; they've also integrated their talent into community initiatives and events. Notably, Marist recently hosted a Day of Giving, inviting friends, family, alumni and current riders to support and contribute to the team's endeavors.

Looking towards the future, the Marist Equestrian Team holds a simple yet profound aspiration: to always find joy and fulfillment while in the saddle. Their goal isn't just about accolades or achievements but about maintaining a deep-seated love for their craft and the profound connection they share with their equine partners. With this ethos guiding their journey, the Marist Equestrian Team looks forward to many more fulfilling rides ahead.



Meet Sadie F.



Sadie's journey into the world of singing and performing began in fourth grade when she discovered her love for musical theatre. Initially shy, her mother encouraged her to explore her voice, leading her to attend classes at Star2B. Under the guidance of Pilar Morgan, Sadie quickly found her passion for performing and embarked on a journey of vocal training.

Sadie’s credits include diverse roles such as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast and Karen Smith in Mean Girls, but her favorite remains Katherine Pulitzer in Newsies. Playing the smart, witty, and fun character was a dream come true for her, and she relished every moment on stage bringing the character to life.

Beyond her own performances, Sadie has found fulfillment in giving back to her community. She volunteers at Star2B, working with younger aspiring performers. Serving as a role model, she encourages them to embrace the performing arts, helping shy students blossom into confident stars.

Looking to the future, Sadie envisions herself using her talents in conjunction with her passion for helping children. While she loves to sing and perform, she's discovered a deep-seated desire to work with children as a child psychiatrist or psychologist. She believes her experiences in performing arts will enable her to connect with her future clients and help them build confidence and resilience.



Meet Sadie M.



Sadie began her journey in the world of dance at the age of three. Encouraged by her mother's search for an activity, she discovered her passion for movement and rhythm, igniting a lifelong devotion to the art form.

Among the myriad of memories Sadie cherishes from her dance journey, one stands out vividly - the electrifying experience of performing her very first solo at a dance competition at the age of eight. This moment marked not only a milestone in her dancing career but also a profound realization of her capabilities and potential.

Beyond personal milestones, Sadie's talent has seamlessly intertwined with community initiatives and events. From enchanting performances at the Bells on Broadway in Newburgh to spreading holiday cheer with her dance troupe at the Palisades Mall, she has embraced opportunities to share her passion with the wider community.

Looking towards the future, Sadie envisions herself continuing to immerse herself in the world of dance. With unwavering determination, she aspires to remain an integral part of her studio's dance team, competing and refining her skills with each passing year. Her dedication to her craft serves as a beacon, guiding her towards new horizons and endless possibilities in the realm of dance.



Meet Victoria D



Victoria, inspired by the mesmerizing movements of others, began her journey in dance at the tender age of three. With an innate passion for movement and a profound love for self-expression, she embarked on a path that would shape her future.

Throughout her journey, Victoria has encountered numerous memorable moments, but none quite as significant as when she was awarded the Junior All-Star Prodigy Award in March, a testament to her dedication and talent.

As a member of a dance team, Victoria has competed in competitions for three years straight and participated in dance conventions alongside professional dancers, enriching both her skills and her community.

Looking ahead, Victoria envisions herself pursuing higher education in the arts, setting her sights on Broadway stages where she can captivate audiences with her talent. Moreover, she aspires to share her love and knowledge of dance by possibly teaching others, igniting in them the same passion for movement and self-expression that has fueled her own journey.



Meet Victoria F



Victoria's journey in music and performing began at the age of two, driven by an inherent love for music and performing.

Throughout her journey, she has cherished many moments, but one that stands out is the time she danced on the Intrepid alongside her grandfather, a marine. Little did she know then, it would become a cherished memory after his passing, realizing the significance of performing for him in that moment.

Beyond personal milestones, Victoria has actively participated in community initiatives, bringing the arts to various events such as parades, children's fairs and even nursing homes. She believes in the transformative power of performance and its ability to reach those who may not otherwise have access to it.

Looking ahead, Victoria is poised to embark on a new chapter as she prepares to enter college. Endowed with talent, her aspirations include continuing to hone her talent through auditions for movies and musicals, with the ultimate goal of landing lead roles in the future. With determination and dedication, Victoria envisions a bright future where her passion for performing continues to flourish.


Annual Sponsors

Premier Annual Sponsors: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, M&T Bank, Orange & Rockland, Pratt & WhitneyAnnual Sponsors: IBM, Resorts World, RBT, TD Bank, Ulster Savings