It had become a tradition that every four years, students at Dreamdance Academy would travel to New York City to be a part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The studio closed in May, but the show will go on for a small crew that arrived in New York on Saturday and immediately began rehearsals with the 670 teens they will perform alongside on Thursday morning.
Peter Myre, the shuttered studio’s keeper, had brought Dreamdance students to the parade twice in the past.
“I still wanted to give these dancers the opportunity to have that,” he said.
The 93rd annual parade, famous for its large-scale balloons, airs from 9 a.m.-noon on KBJR Ch. 6, and the Dreamdance squad will be in the middle of a group that precedes Santa Claus. They are performing to the song “The Man with The Bag” and will be dressed in red sequins with green tulle bows.
“The dance is really jazzy, and it’s something we’re used to from our old studio,” said Allison Began, a senior from Barnum. “It’s really our style.”
There is also a prop — a cardboard peppermint candy on one side and Santa’s belt on the other — that they flip around during the performance.
Ariana St. Germaine, a junior at Denfeld High School, remembers watching online footage of former Dreamdance Academy students at the parade.
“I thought ‘that looks fun,’” St. Germaine said, but she never thought she would get the chance to go.
The dancers were sent choreography to practice ahead of the parade, though they said it has since changed and changed again. In addition to rehearsing, and a first run in front of NBC executives, they saw “Frozen” on Broadway, the Rockettes, and had plans to see the Minnesota Wild play the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
After the parade, they will visit Niagara Falls.
The Duluth-based studio was open for a decade, Myre said, but closed in May for financial reasons. His dancers had been grandfathered in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and did not have to submit an audition video.
In his time with the studio, Myre made it a point to find ways to get his dancers to large-scale events, including the Orange Bowl and the Indianapolis 500.
“It was a fun dream, watching kids and mentoring them and watching them grow,” he said.