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Franklin dancers hope to dazzle in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Posted at 10:42 AM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 11:42:53-05

It's a Thanksgiving story that plays out each year in communities across the U.S, but it's one that never gets old.

A group of local kids is getting the chance to represent their hometown and perform at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Last year, an average of 23.68 million viewers tuned in to watch the parade during the course of its three-hour broadcast.

One of the groups that performs in the parade annually is Spirit of America productions - which recruits dancers from studios around the country to participate in its routine.

Fifteen years ago, Terri Sinani, owner and director at Next Step Dance Studio in Franklin, sent a pair of dancers to the parade to dance under the Spirit of America banner.

Since then, the studio's dancers have participated in the iconic Thanksgiving Day parade every three years.

"This year we have 15 dancers going," Sinani said. "It's once in a lifetime for these girls to get to go."

She said the girls will walk the parade route, and perform for roughly 90 seconds right in front of the Macy's store.

"There will be just over 600 dancers dancing with Spirit of America," Sinani said.

Since the organizers sent Sinani the dance routine a couple of weeks ago, her dancers have been rehearing once a week at the studio for 90 minutes, plus putting in additional practice time on their own.

"It's fast choreography, so it's a little harder to pick up, I guess," said Annalise Cieklinski, a dancer from Oak Creek.

"We're learning it every day," said dancer Rebekah Hajdasz, of Franklin. "When we found out we were going this year and my parents said, 'Yeah, you can go,' I was really excited."

Sinani hopes the dancers, who will spend about a week in New York total and also take in a class instructed by a Rockette dancer, will soak in the experience.

"I hope they experience the friendship, the learning and just the ups and downs of being gone from your parents for a whole week," Sinani said.