I'm what you call a professional
In elementary school, two geeky guys (one of whom I struck up a friendship with in college) tried to do karate for a talent show.Sounds like you and I went to middle school around the same time, some of that really hit home hahaha and yeah we had a step team as well but only black girls could join.
My middle school had regular talent shows but I was in a program that focused on performance and stuff so there were more people who participated. The girls singing N*SYNC to a CD was a real deja vu moment lol. One of the dance groups that peformed did a full dance routine to "Rumpshaker" (I have the tape of their performance that I would love to convert and upload) and you could tell they didn't practice much and only one girl knew the entire routine. Her name was Kelli. Kelli was the dancer in the middle of the five girls. At one point she stepped in front of the other girls and started shaking her boobs (reminder this was middles school and she was 13) and right before the end of the song their other girls just stopped dancing altogether because they forgot what to do. Kelli turned around and got into sort of an open-leg push-up position and twerked and all the middle school boys went crazy, yelling and whistling and smacking the lunchroom tables. I've never seen anything like it before or since. Because they wanted to sell tapes of the performance after the fact for fundraising the very end of the performance was cut off but the rest of it is definitely there
The other geek kid had to keep kicking a board, and it wouldn't break. Must have been embarrassing for him.
I always dreaded talent show day. Like your guys's, it was being forced to watch sheer cringe.