Bronx youth will light up Radio City Music Hall for the Garden of Dreams talent show

Screenshot 2024-04-30 at 2.14.12 PM
London Nash, 18, is among the Bronx youth performing in the upcoming Garden of Dreams talent show at Radio City Music Hall.
Photo courtesy Garden of Dreams Foundation

For 18-year-old London Nash of Parkchester, the third time really was a charm. After auditioning in 2022 and 2023 for the Garden of Dreams talent show at Radio City Music Hall, she was finally selected this year. 

When she heard the good news, “I was crying,” Nash told the Bronx Times.

At the May 2 show, she will sing “I Am Changing,” performed by Jennifer Hudson in the movie “Dreamgirls.”

“I think I resonate with the song completely,” Nash said of the soulful ballad.

She will be among 150 youth from the tristate area — all facing major challenges such as chronic illness, homelessness or the loss of a loved one — who will perform at the talent show, which will include vocal and musical performances, monologues, dance and more.

The kids have been in rehearsal at the iconic venue for months and have received performance advice from Broadway actor Christopher Jackson from “Hamilton” and “In the Heights.” And who better to prepare them for performing on that stage than the world-famous Rockettes?

Nash said she does not come from a family of performers but knew at a young age that she wanted to become a “triple threat” — dancer, singer, actor — and although she’s singing for the talent show, she first got started in dance. 

Nash started in ballet at age four, but after being accepted into the SCAN-Harbor Performing Arts Academy, she had the opportunity to try many different types of dance — jazz, modern, Bollywood and more — and landed on hip-hop as a natural fit. 

Nash credits her Bronx upbringing for her skill and interest in hip-hop.

“It had the attitude, it had the oomph,” she said. 

She also draws a lot of inspiration from everyday life in the borough.

“On the train, people would wear bright clothes or dance, showing off their talents,” Nash said. “I admired their confidence and it influenced me.” 

To prepare for the big show, Nash said she’s practicing daily — singing in the shower, of course — and working with her vocal coach, whom she said “really takes pride in the kids he works with.” 

Nash is not the only Bronxite performing in the talent show. Others include 12-year-old Taliyah Rhymer of the Edenwald neighborhood, who is performing a dance piece with her team called Nothing2Crazy, and Emily Espejo of Highbridge, a member of Royal Army Dance Team, who will dance to a hip-hop song called “Pump It Up.” 

Rhymer and Espejo expressed their excitement in written statements for the Bronx Times.

“Because of the Bronx’s origin [in hip-hop], you can go many places and it’s inspiring,” said Rhymer. 

For the talent show, now in its sixteenth run at Radio City Music Hall, the nonprofit Garden of Dreams Foundation partnered with organizations including Make-A-Wish, Children’s Aid and the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club. 

The event is expected to be attended by thousands, including A-list athletes and celebrities who mentor the performers or serve as presenters during the show. Past attendees have included A$AP Rocky, Fat Joe, Alicia Keys, Seth Meyers and many more. 

With her performance just days away, Nash showed the professionalism to rival those seasoned entertainers. 

“I feel very ready,” Nash said. “I’m not nervous. I’m throwing all that in the garbage can.”

Tickets for the show on Thursday are free, and while digital tickets are no longer available, a limited number will be available at the Radio City Music Hall box office on the day of the performance.

Reach Emily Swanson at or (646) 717-0015. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes