Dancers

A group of local dancers from Jill Stanford Reeves’ Dance Center in Brunswick will perform Thursday in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. From left, on the front row, is Lyzavia Holloway, Mary Wallace Champion and Mary Claire Waters. On the middle row is Mikinley Brinson, Lucy Downey, Alyssa Green, Emily Mosher and Avery Brantley. And in the back is Ansley Childs, Sarah Mauney, Mallory Mitchell, Sarah Benner, Miranda Goodman and Michae’la Harper.

Sarah Mauney is witnessing a long-held dream come true this week.

Mauney, a senior at Brunswick High, arrived Saturday in New York City along with a group of dancers from Jill Stanford Reeves’ Dance Center in Brunswick who were selected to perform in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The parade is a colorful spectacle that will be broadcast on televisions across the country Thursday, and the local dancers will be among 600 performing their routine.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity ever since I started dance,” Mauney said Wednesday.

Dancers at Reeves’ studio have been invited to perform in the parade for the past 20 years.

“We were chosen by talent scouts at a Dance Competition in Orlando, Fla., 20 years ago,” Reeves said. “The invitation has been extended every year since then.”

Reeves begins preparing the dancers for the parade in October, when they’re sent a video of the routine. When they arrive in New York City, rehearsals take place Saturday through Wednesday before the parade, which begins at 9 a.m. Thursday.

When the dancers arrived this weekend, though, Mauney said they learned their choreography had been changed, which meant they had to double down in the rehearsals to be ready for the parade.

But Reeves made sure they could handle the challenge, Mauney said.

“She knew once we got here we would be pushed and pushed, and we would continue working once we got here,” she said.

This is a life experience the young dancers will never forget, Reeves said. While in New York City, they’ve seen a show on Broadway and the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, along with other attractions.

But the week’s finale — the Macy's Parade — will be a major moment for the dancers, Reeves said.

“They grow up hearing about how much fun it is at the studio from the other dancers that have attended in the past, and plus they are performing on national TV,” Reeves said. “How cool is that? One year, one of our dancers was chosen to dance on top of the Macy’s Marquee.”

Mauney has been waiting for this moment for 15 years.

“Since I’ve been dancing so long, since I started, they’ve said, ‘One day you’re going to get to go to the Macy’s Parade.’ This has been my dream,” she said. “I’m really excited that I made it here.”

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