SAINT ALBANS, W. Va. (WOWK) — Each year, more than 50 million people turn on their televisions to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, while nearly 3.5 million people hit the streets of NYC to watch it in person.
With numbers like that, its safe to say that the parade is a staple of the holiday season for many, including the Saint Albans Studio of Dance.
For the last 10 years, the studio has sent dancers to dance in the parade through Spirit of America Productions. It’s something that every young dancer dreams of doing. Each girl must apply, audition, and fundraise to attend. Then of course, they spend hours practicing… and practicing… and practicing some more.
“It is a lot of work, you get there and you spend your whole time practicing,” explained dancer Katie Walker. “Then you get a break, and then you practice again. But when you get to perform, I mean that is the coolest thing. It is just a rush… that is the only way to describe it.”
This year, the studio is sending six dancers — all of which have danced in years past. This year’s team includes Katie Walker, Hailey Hagerman, Samantha Humphreys, Caroline Hall, Holly Atkins and Camryn Aldridge.
“It is so unreal, getting to go up there. It is a completely different experience than anything you can ever imagine,” explained Samantha Humphreys.
“Even though I have been before but I get super nervous from the moment I get to the airport,” Humphreys said with a laugh. She added, “I feel so bad for my mom cause I put her through a lot when we’re up there.”
The dancers leave for New York City, Saturday, November 23rd.