There are many who like to sing and dance, but doing it on a stage in front of a large audience can be a major challenge, if not overwhelming.
Not so for an 11-year old youngster, whose passion for the performing arts is something special and, watching her act and follow through, the visible signs become quite clear. For Angie Choo, it is singing with sensitivity, an expression of wonder and in doing so, she continues to excel at performing––despite having a mild intellectual disability.
A grade 6 student at Alton Public School, located in Caledon, Choo is a success story that goes well beyond her ability and fondness for presentation and showmanship.
Students and staff have developed a special bond with the youngster, who smiles widely, embraces others, and has a refreshing desire to learn. Born in South Korea and, after arriving in Canada with her family, Choo had to learn a new language while making the social adjustment.
A bit bashful when meeting new people, Choo thrives when given an opportunity to perform and her confidence rises, allowing her to exhibit enthusiasm and a unique blend of charm that also inspires, and impacts, those around her.
"I like to sing, I like school, I like everything," said Choo in a candid discussion before taking to the school stage with a few friends for an impromptu performance.
Choo is not consumed by showmanship, and is now prepping for her third Broadway Junior musical show. Instead of the personal glitz, she's always making sure her colleagues know what is expected of them, and to count on her, when the curtain goes up.
Having played the role of the zebra in The Lion King, and also one of the silly girls in Beauty and the Beast, Choo now focuses on being a fairy-in-training in Alton's performance of Pinocchio set for the Orangeville Opera House on March 21 and 22.
On stage, or even amongst friends in the school hallway, Choo displays no intense rivalry, but one of friendship, and is a stimulant for amping up positive feelings.
"She's just an incredible joy to watch on stage," remarked Laurie Moore, teacher and Director of Musical shows at Alton. "All students go through auditions and not only does (Choo) get so involved in her role, but Angie is a huge cheerleader for the others."
Benefitting from Alton's alternative learning program, Choo was in the school's choir since her earlier years at Alton. "When she first came to Alton, Angie was quiet and very curious, but that's because everything was new to her," said Karen Phipps, teaching assistant at Alton. "Writing and reading aren't easy for her, but she's quite astute, and studies shows and has the lyrics learned ahead of schedule."
A warm and caring individual, Choo doesn't emulate any celebrities. When she is actively engaged in performing, and fiercely devoted to her friends, Choo shows she's simply having a good time.