Julestarz Academy for the Performing Arts was excited to have 16 dancers traveling to New York last Thanksgiving to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this past November.
This amazing performance opportunity has been a lifelong dream of studio owner Julie Kenny. She grew up in New York and couldn’t wait to bring some of the dancers on her Competition Team and members of their families across the country for this experience.
The trip will include performance rehearsals with the Spirit of America Production Company, Macy’s and NBC as well as sightseeing excursions around New York City, including attending the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.
“Seeing the Rockettes perform in person was a special moment for the dancers, as Julestarz is known for ending each of their recitals for the past 17 years with their own Rockette-inspired tap number complete with a kick line,” Kenny said. “These dancers grew up watching the ‘Julestarz Julettes’ perform, became one themselves and now will get to see the inspiration for their prestigious number live for the first time.”
The dancers were selected to participate in the parade earlier this year.
“They have been working to raise funds to cover the $2,500 (plus airfare) that it will cost each member to attend ever since,” Kenny said. “The dancers and their parents have hosted parents’ night outs, held car washes, set up concession stands at their recitals and ran a shoe drive to collect sneakers to be repurposed into playground mulch. They have also received generous donations from local businesses, Gretchen’s Goodies and United Trust Bank.”
Traci McTaggart’s daughter, Hope, was one of the dancers who got the chance to go to New York City.
“She was extremely excited when Julie told them they were going to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade,” McTaggart said. “The whole dance team was literally jumping up and down with excitement. It was a surreal moment standing there waiting to be a part of something so iconic. I was excited for all of our friends and families back home to watch for us on TV. It was so fun to walk through the parade and have everyone waving at you and taking pictures of you.”