When she was younger, tap dancer and native New Yorker Claire Laing used to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from a hotel on the parade route. This year, Claire, now 15, will be on the other side of that window, dancing in the parade with the Tap City Youth Ensemble. The group will be performing Izzici, a South African gumboot dance choreographed by Molutsi Mogami. The piece features rhythmic clapping, singing and footwork, and is danced in rain boots--perfect for unpredictable parade weather!
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, the ensemble has added extra rehearsals to prepare. "We need to build up our stamina," Claire says. The tappers will perform along the parade route and will also dance in front of Macy's in NYC's Herald Square, which will be broadcast to millions of viewers.
It's a big opportunity for a group of young dancers. (TCYE members are 12 to 21 years old). And for Claire, it will be a new perspective on a childhood memory. "I'm excited to see what it's like to actually be in the parade," she says, "as opposed to just watching it."