PARKLAND, Fla. – This week, a group of South Florida girls will go from dancing in a Parkland studio to dancing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Every year, hundreds of dancers from across the country begin learning the steps at home, then make the trip to New York to be part of the parade.
Emma Quirk did it in 2018 and knew she wanted to do it one more time before she graduated.
“I loved being in it the first time,” she said. “It was just an amazing experience the first time, and my mom was like ‘Emma how about you do it one more time for senior year?’ and I was like, ‘OK!’”
She was initially going solo, without a dance studio or other girls she knew.
But her family noticed that Dance Theatre of Parkland was sending a group, and now she’s joined up with them. The Dance Theatre members have been waiting years for their chance to perform in the parade after seeing other dancers from their studio go five years ago.
“We were going go last year but that didn’t happen, so that’s why we waited five years, and this is the 95th anniversary of the parade, and needless to say they’re very, very excited,” said Tara Goodman, the Dance Theatre Company director.
For weeks, the girls ages 13-18 practiced on their own in the studio and at home to get ready for one of the biggest national stages there is.
“To be in a big professional environment like that with like the big leagues is really exciting because you start off going in like a small little studio to now being on national television,” said dancer Delyla Luca.
They flew up to New York on Saturday and will be going through rehearsals to make sure every step is right as they join 600 other dancers in the parade Thursday morning.