Your Character Matters: George McCann Memorial’s Dance Group

Central Valley Today

Every year, the Tulare County Office of Education hosts the Friday Night Live Lip Sync Battle. Students from all over the South Valley sign up to dance and sing in front of a live audience. 

The Friday Night Live group of dancers from George McCann Memorial School in Visalia are known as ‘5 Bros Plus Kari.’ The group won first place and walked away with a trophy. Before their performance, they saw another dancer who blew them away.

His name is Malachi Sweredoski — a 7th grader from Wilson Middle School in Exeter.

“We placed first in novelty category. We were really sad that he did not place, and we wanted to give him a gift and recognize him because he should have,” said ‘5 Bros Plus Kari’ dance member, Thomas Rosa.

As you can imagine, Friday Night Live is a night that takes a lot of practice for these kids.

Malachi’s dance partner had to drop out of the competition at the last minute. Malachi showed a lot of courage and decided to go on stage by himself and with a brand new routine.

“I didn’t get a trophy, and honestly, I didn’t mind. Honestly, I didn’t show up to get a trophy. I showed up to have fun,” said Malachi Sweredoski of Wilson Middle School.

But Malachi not even placing in the competition did not sit well with the winning dancing group.

“Whenever we heard that he didn’t place at all we were disappointed because he didn’t place, ” ‘5 Bros Plus Kari’ dance group member, Kari Pendegraft said.

So they wanted to meet him, and got him his own engraved trophy for the ‘Most Inspirational’ award.

It was a gesture that truly touched Malachi’s heart.

“I can say every last great word in vocabulary, but it wouldn’t describe how I am feeling because I am just extremely happy, ” Malachi said.

This is a story that shows how a group of kids realized that it’s not all about winning.

“He inspired us to try and that is something that we can only hope we did for other teams, and we wanted to reward him for that, ” ‘5 Bros Plus Kari’ dance member, Thomas Rosa adds.

The George McCann Memorial School Friday Night Live dance group shows us why Your Character Matters.

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Stefanie Bainum