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CHHS students dance in Macy's parade

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By Kelly Cantrall

Local dancers missed their chance to watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at home. They were too busy participating in it.

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Three Central Hardin High School students traveled to New York City last week to dance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The seniors participated through Center Stage Dance Studio, which sends some students every year to be a part of the Spirit of America Dance Team.

Center Stage in Elizabethtown receives an invitation every year to send dancers to the parade. This year, Domonique Frayser-Trotter, Samantha Stevenson and Natalie Smith wanted to be a part of the annual holiday parade.
Frayser-Trotter said she’s watched the parade for years and always wanted to travel to New York.

“I like to travel and New York City was one of my destinations to cross off my list,” Frayser-Trotter said.

Stevenson said she knew she needed to take the chance she was being offered.

“I knew that it was an opportunity that wouldn’t come by ever again,” Stevenson said.

The girls spent a lot of their week in New York practicing the routine, much of which was changed from the video that was sent to them earlier. With 715 dancers on the team, they had to focus their work to get the choreography right for such a large group.

“It was very long,” Smith said.

When the holiday came, the dancers had to be in full makeup and costume by 6 a.m. They marched the three-mile length of the parade route, which ends at Herald Square, where televised performances take place.

The girls said they did not think much about the number of people watching them on television.

“My mom asked me what it was like to perform in front of 30 million people, but honestly it didn’t feel like it,” Stevenson said.

The Spirit of America Dance Team also was selected to serve as the audience for taping of the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. They watched singers Tony Bennett and Justin Bieber perform, but Stevenson admitted it also consisted of “a lot of standing in the cold.”

The girls said wearing around the red jackets signifying they were on the dance team garnered a lot of attention in the city, as did their ride on the subway to Central Park in full costume the morning of the parade. One girl even asked Stevenson if she was a Radio City Rockette, the famous dancers always present in the parade.

“It was like we got to be a celebrity for a week,” Smith said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.