By HARSHITA AVIRNENI, CLAIRE LAWRENCE, Vandegrift Voice
They heard the audience as they walked along 8th Ave next to Central Park. This was the biggest audience they had ever performed in front of. Millions of people were watching and this was an opportunity of a lifetime.
After getting hand-picked from a group of competitors, several dancers performed during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Nov. 28 in New York City as a part of a Spirit of America Production.
“It was really exciting,” freshman Audrey Brink said. “It was a new experience. Something I’ve never done before. Just getting to dance on the green mat that The Rockettes and other famous [dancers] were on before was cool.”
Brink performed alongside other freshman: Avery Lewis, Sydney Bell and Faith Anton. The girls learned the dance through a video and then polished it once in New York with the rest of the dancers.
“[During rehearsal] they would clean the dance, change some stuff and perfect everything,” Anton said. “Usually they change things, depending on how it looks with everyone. It was really cool but also strange because there’s so many people.”
On the day of the parade, all dancers waited together outside the Natural History Museum. They got into formation, walked for about an hour and performed the dance once in front of the 12-story Macy’s department store.
“We were all really excited, but also nervous because the cameras were going to be right there,” Bell said. “Most of the time we were walking, waving and smiling. My favorite part in the dance was probably the very beginning, because I was front row and got to act sassy.”
The girls also got the chance to visit famous sights in New York City, like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and even saw a Broadway show.
“We did a lot of sight-seeing,” Brink said. “I think the whole week, going to New York with my friends and dancing with them, is really cool because normally you wouldn’t be able to do that and have those experiences.”
Brink added that her favorite part about the trip was dancing with her friends.
“It was just really cool to see how the 670 of us can come together from across the country and pull off a dance that hundreds of millions of people watched,” Brink said. “Getting to dance with [my friends] on national television was really thrilling.”