Three seniors from St. James High School are preparing to fly to New York to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Sharkie Dancers Brittany Blevins and Caitlyn Zangler and Sharkie Cheer’s Kinley Thompson will leave on Saturday.
“I’m super excited to go,” said Zangler. “I’ve only been to New York once and I think Times Square is so pretty and I can’t wait to go again.”
The school’s cheer and dance teams attend the United Dance Association and United Cheer Association’s camps, and the groups have partnered with Spirit of America Productions. The girls will be in the parade as part of Spirit of America’s performances.
I’m excited to say when I’m older, ‘I did perform at the Macy’s Parade’ because it’s so well-known across the country.
“The day I found out, I was very excited because I know from my mom it’s on her bucket list to go to the Macy’s Parade and we’ve always watched it in the past,” said Zangler. “It’s very exciting.”
The thought of making a mistake is “nerve-wracking” to Zangler, but she’s still enthusiastic.
“I’m excited to say when I’m older, ‘I did perform at the Macy’s Parade’ because it’s so well-known across the country,” she said.
For cheerleader Thompson, the trip won’t be a new experience. She’s previously auditioned and performed in the parade as a freshman but is still excited.
This year I feel super-prepared because I’ve already been through it once.
“I know what to expect,” she said. “I had no clue what to expect the first time. I was totally unprepared from getting enough sleep to packing the right clothes for the weather and knowing where to go with my group and what to bring. This year I feel super-prepared because I’ve already been through it once. I know what to pack. I know what shoes to wear for walking in the street.”
Blevins goes to New York every year and loves the city, but has never done any of what she calls “tourist things.” She’s eager to see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.
Just small town girls dancing in a parade in the city seems so cool, you know what I mean? Bam. Experience, check.
In the past, other seniors at the school have participated and Blevins said she “just had to do it,” when the opportunity presented itself.
“I’ve been dancing every since I was three and I’ve continued up until now,” she said, adding that she’s danced in competitions and other venues outside the school.
“I’ve had a bunch of opportunities to dance in a bunch of places but this is the biggest and most prestigious,” she said.
Blevins said she’s had lots of “cool experiences” in her life, but this tops the list.
“Just small town girls dancing in a parade in the city seems so cool, you know what I mean?” she said. “Bam. Experience, check.”
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian
The dancer’s uniforms are black and white with sparkles. The cheerleader’s uniforms are silver with pink, black and neon green markings.