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Dancers to perform in famous Macy's event 2005

Six McDowell County teens will "five-six-seven-eight" their way through an American tradition next week.

The Senior Concert Dancers from Miss Jacie’s School of Dance will join girls from across the country for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, performing the opening number and dancing the length of the legendary procession ("5 miles?" exclaimed 14-year-old Katrina Dorsey) alongside its star, the jolly old elf himself.

Dressed in their costumes – thin cotton shirts and Christmas-red capri pants – the dancers were perfecting the steps and scarf flings of their jazz routine Monday at the local studio.

On the mirrored wall, they were a twirling blur of crimson and white, their eyes darting between the reflection and a TV screen where an instructor demonstrated. In a week, they’ll be looking instead at the faces crowding Broadway and 78th Street.

They got the moves (set to Madonna’s "Holiday") from the New York choreographers two weeks ago, a tough order for girls who usually start practicing for April competitions in August. But their NYC schedule leading up to the parade has them practicing twice a day for up to four hours at a time. Then they’ll get extra dance classes, just for fun.

The girls have other ideas about how to spend their time in the Big Apple.

Half of them have never flown on an airplane, much less been to New York.

Alisha Brown brings up shopping at Macy’s and the whole group nods in agreement. Brittany Hink wants to ride in a taxi and see the Statue of Liberty.

Erica Hornaday could care less about the Statue of Liberty. She wants to see TRL, the live MTV show.

For the moms and Miss Jacie, Matt Lauer and the Today show tops the list of must-sees.

Giggling excitedly in the hallway while their teens work up a sweat in the studio, they may be more excited than their daughters. They’ve all watched the parade with their girls over the years. Melissa Hinks’ has always dreamed of going to the parade. Having her daughter dance in it is better than she ever hoped for.

She and the other mothers have been stocking up on film, video cassettes and disposable cameras - Lori Hornaday already has 12 ready for the trip.

An invitation to Macy’s famous parade came in April from Mike Miller and Associates, one of the companies Macy’s hires to bring in talent for the parade. Instructor Jacie White’s studio qualified because she’s affiliated with the Dance Masters of America organization.

Fund-raising started last spring, with the girls and their parents selling lollipops (3,822 to be exact), cleaning out their closets for yard sales, peddling pizza kits, hosting sleepovers for the young dancers and undertaking other hometown enterprises until they made $9,000.

It’s nice to finally come to dance class without having to count money, said mom Mary Dorsey, who’ll be among the moms leaving with the dancers Saturday.

The $9,000 doesn’t cover everything, but it helps pay for the week the girls will spend in New York, working a Broadway play and the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show with the Rockettes into the busy practice schedule.

And as for TRL?

Well, we’ll see, said Erica’s mom.

published July 22, 2005 6:00 am
by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Staff writer

Contact Ragan Robinson at 652-3313 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..