SAN ANTONIO (April 21, 2015) -- Camelot Elementary School students, parents, and teachers received a sneak preview of the U.S. Army Soldier Show April 15, 2015, at the historic Fort Sam Houston Theatre on Joint Base San Antonio.
Approximately 275 students, from kindergarten to second grade, teachers, and parents were invited to see a dress rehearsal of the live Broadway-style performance produced by Army Entertainment, an U.S. Army Installation Management Command operation.
This year's theme is "We Serve." The show explores what it means to be a "Soldier for Life" in and out of uniform.
Karen Kohler, a family specialist at Camelot Elementary School, says that it was an unique occasion for the students.
"Our students typically don't get an opportunity to see a show like this since our school has limited opportunities outside of the school district," she said.
Camelot Elementary School is a part of San Antonio's Northeast Independent School District. Although the elementary school is located less than ten miles from Joint Base San Antonio, military children make up only five percent of the school's population according to Kohler.
Assistant vice principal Ashley Scott mentioned that the field trip was an opportunity for students to learn more about the Army life in an entertaining way.
"I like how our students were able to watch Soldiers perform on a live stage," said Scott. "They saw Soldiers who look like them and who they can relate to."
During the performance, the children saw the cast sing and dance to both classic and contemporary songs. Current hits like Mark Ronson's chart-topping "Uptown Funk" brought an immediate reaction from the children. Some students began dancing and singing along in their seats.
"Uptown Funk" was my favorite song," said Melody Barragan, a second grader. "I listen to that song every day on YouTube."
Many children were also impressed with the choreography. Jendry Cepeda, a first grader, said his favorite parts were when the performers did back flips and other advanced dance moves.
Valeria Sosa, mother of second grader Christopher Sosa, got teary during one scene and told her son why those moments resonated with her.
"My son asked me, 'Are you going to cry mom?' I told him that it was just sad that Soldiers deploy and they don't have their Families with them," said Valeria Sosa.
Kelly Crosby watched the performance with her daughter Kaelyn Crosby, a second grader. Kelly and her husband are veterans and hope that their daughter learned more about military life.
"Kaelyn was very young when my husband was deployed," said Kelly. "I hope that she learned about the Army and what it means for Soldiers to serve."