What’s the jazz age? Ten years old if you’re Lambros Garcia, a Glenwood Landing Elementary School student whose jazz-dance routine landed him an audition on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night.
“Yeah, so a video at a [dance] convention went viral,” says Lambros excitedly by phone, with parents Christopher Garcia, who turns 45 later this month, and Angela Scaliotis-Garcia, 44, on the line. “And a lot of people started seeing it … and then [someone] showed it to the producers” of the televised talent competition. They in turn contacted Natalie Mossa Wright, director-owner of Mossa Dance Academy in New Hyde Park, where Lambros studies, to invite the youngster to compete.
The show generally only pays airfare and hotel for the child performer and one accompanying parent or guardian, but Glen Head's Garcia family splurged and both parents and Lambros’ younger sister, Anastasia, flew to Southern California for his April 6 audition at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, where “AGT” is recorded.
“I did a jazz piece, [set to singer] Billy Porter’s 'Love Yourself,' and it really brought out a very good statement to, like, always love yourself first,” Lambros says. “I feel like this could inspire a lot of people.” His audition dance was choreographed by Sarah Jo Fazio, one of Lambros’ instructors at the Mossa Dance Academy.
Even before “AGT,” Lambros danced competitively nationwide. He was a winner in the American Dance Awards’ “America’s Young Dancer of the Year 2021,” and that same year reached third place in his division at the Elite Dance Challenge. Among other conventions and events, he performed last year at the United States Tournament of Dance Western Long Island Championship, held at The Space at Westbury.
He was born in Manhasset of Queens-born parents Christopher, a manager at the Garden City location of the nationwide financial firm Contour Mortgage, and Angela, director of the English as a New Language and World Languages department of the Amityville Union Free School District. The couple married in 2011. After living for a time in Farmingdale, the family moved to Whitestone, Queens, for Angela’s work as a teacher and, later, an assistant principal in that borough before eventually returning to Long Island.
“I was very, very nervous,” stepping into the spotlight before “AGT” judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara, the youngster says, “but also excited because that stage has been stepped on by the most talented people in the world. And when I saw the judges, I was just, like, ‘I've always wanted to be on that stage and I'm here right now.’ And it was just amazing to be on that stage … just an amazing feeling."
The family is having a viewing party in their backyard Tuesday night. “We have a 15-foot projection screen set up outside,” Christopher Garcia says proudly. “And 50 to 70 people coming.”