National spotlightWhen the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade rolls down the streets of New York, several Twin Ports dancers will join others from across the nation to perform.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
When the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade rolls down the streets of New York, several Twin Ports dancers will join others from across the nation to perform.
And when the Orange Bowl breaks for half time a half-dozen students from Dream Dance Academy in Duluth will be in Miami, putting on the show with youth from other parts of the nation.
“Every four years, we do the Macy’s parade,” said studio owner and dance teacher Peter Myre. “It’s almost a rite of passage.”
However, the invitation to perform in Miami during the Jan. 1 college bowl game is brand-new.
Myre said the call came in while he was teaching a class; another teacher heard the phone ring and came in excited to tell him about the invitation.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Abby Lonne, who will be heading to New York for a week to be part of the parade seen by millions on Thanksgiving morning
There she and other students will work with a choreographer and be part of a team that includes teens from around the country to dance in the Macy’s parade.
She said she saw other students go in the past and has been looking forward to her chance ever since.
“It’ll be a new experience,” said Crystal Kiminki, who is also heading to New York.
The girls will spend a week in New York, but their time will be largely booked — preparing for their performance, said Jackie Hunter, whose daughter Sadie is among the students heading to Florida at the end of December. In both cases, the girls will have an opportunity to have fun as well, she said.
“I’m looking forward to having fun and dancing,” said Payton Brown, who is among the seven-member competitive team going to the Orange Bowl.
Like most of the girls participating in the nationally televised events, she and Sadie Hunter have both been dancing since age 2.
Sadie Hunter said she is looking forward to learning with professional, Emmy Award-nominated choreographers.
The girls are expecting to get the dances they will be performing about 10 weeks in advance of the trip to Florida. Once there, their placement among performers from around the country will be determined by how well they perform initially for actor and choreographer Chris Judd.
Leading up to the performance, they’ll be working with choreographers like Stacey Tookey, Jackie Hunter said.
Tookey was twice nominated for an Emmy for her choreography on the Canadian and American versions of “So you think you can dance.”
While the girls heading to Florida and New York are going to be hard at work with their footwork, they’re also busy raising money for the trips — $1,200 plus the airline for the Miami trip and $2,000 plus the flight to New York per student.
The students were selected based on their ability to meet the criteria established by each event, said Myre, who started in dance when his mother discovered his passion during an aerobics class.
The students have been holding car washes, holding many cookie and bake sales, and this weekend they’ll be holding a craft fair at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1924 Wyoming Ave., Superior.
And the girls are excited to share their talent with the nation.
“It’s a way to express yourself without speaking,” Lonne said.
By participating in such events, Myre said students get a chance to see they can make it in the big time.