Members of TDT to Perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


Natalia Byrne

Pictured left to right: Maddie Weber, Savannah Williams, Natalia Byrne, Bella Meyer, and Elise Schneider.

Annabelle Wooster, Editor

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City airs on TV every Thanksgiving day at 8:00am central time. Over 50 million viewers will tune in to watch almost 8,000 performers, 5 of which will be members of TDT.

Sophomores Natalia Byrne, Elise Schneider and Maddie Weber along with junior Bella Meyer and senior Savannah Williams are the five TDT dancers that were selected to perform for Spirit America.

“This summer we went to a camp and our choreographer selected certain members of our team to have the opportunity to perform in the Thanksgiving Macy’s Day Parade,” said Byrne. 

Traditionally when a team travels, they initiate fundraisers to cover the cost. However, this trip was different due to the few members that were selected to participate.

“They (the five girls) had to fund raise and pay for it on their own because it’s an individual thing, not a team thing,” said coach Anne Shaw. 

Since this trip was sponsored by each individual dancer, the five girls left for New York at different times and did not travel as a team.

“Two girls flew on Friday and three of us flew on Saturday…Overall travel was fun and easy,” Byrne said. “Spirit of America has all of us staying in a hotel together. Four of us are in one room together and one person is rooming with two new people”.

But before the girls left for New York, they had to practice and prepare for their performance.

“Spirit of America, the organization we’re performing for, sent videos of choreography before the trip that we needed to learn,” said Byrne. 

But the preparations didn’t end there. After the girls landed, they had to engage in hours more of rehearsals. 

“This weekend we had to practice in New York as a whole group for twelve hours on Saturday and six hours on Sunday so we definitely have a full schedule,” Byrne explained. 

For the most part, the girls are navigating this experience independently.

“Anne (coach of TDT) isn’t chaperoning us but she will be joining us to be with us for the parade. Two parents came and somebody’s older sister came but they have different hotels and meet up with us when we’re not at practice,” Byrne said. 

Anne Shaw cannot wait to meet up with the girls as she knows how special this experience is. 

“I’ve gone with some TDT dancers a few times in the past and know it’s an amazing experience. They get to see all of New York City’s sights, meet dancers from around the country, and get to be part of something really special,” she said. 

Additionally, Shaw is most grateful for the team bonding, memories, and traditions that are upheld with this type of trip.

“My personal favorite part of it is getting to have thanksgiving together as a family. We have a Manhattan restaurant called Connelly’s that we traditionally go to. They reserve the entire top floor for us and it’s really a special, cozy, magical holiday that means a lot to me”.