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Medfield Dance Academy Reflects on Performance in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

A team of 19 girls were part of the "Spirit of America Dance Team" which performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

On Thanksgiving day, 19 dancers from the Medfield Dance Academy joined 600 other dancers from around the country as part of the "Spirit of America Dance Team" in the Macy's Day Parade. 

This was the studio's 26th performance in the Thanksgiving Day parade.

"There were 600 dancers and another group of 400 cheerleaders," said their dance teacher 'Miss Jenna' Cox. "They did a great job."

The dancers told Patch "It was like a giant dance party...It was like we were celebrities for a week." 

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"It was a crazy experience," said Emily Taylor, 16. "The day of the parade was amazing and surreal. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience." 

Meghan O'Connor, 16, said, "We got on the subway after the parade and we were like, 'Did that really just happen?'" 

And, as if dancing in the parade wasn't enough of an experience, the dancers were in the parade behind the band, The Wanted. 

"Afterwards, they were like 'Good job' and he said he liked my mask," said Kathleen Flaherty, 15 of Walpole, referring to band member Jay McGuiness. "He kissed me and gave me a hug."

Izzi Duprey, 14, said The Wanted were probably a little bit scared when "600 girls came running at them with masks," she said, while other band members shared photos of their costumes. 

The girls also took part in a flash mob at the new 1D store

The dancers practiced between 6 and 11 hours a day in the hotel's grand ballroom, then filled their downtime with Broadway shows, shopping, a harbor cruise, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty.

"The top of the Empire State Building was amazing," said Emily O'Donnell, 15. "Just being able to look down at the whole city was great and I really liked seeing the whole city lit up at night." 

Three girls -- Jessica Varner, 15, Julianne Bennotti, 15, and Anna Craw, 17 -- also celebrated their birthdays while on the trip.

The girls said the city seemed to be glad to host this huge event just a short time after Hurricane Sandy hit the city, noting the boardwalk around the Statue of Liberty was destroyed. 

"We walked around Central Park and there were a lot of trees down...It was very beaten down," recalled Olivia Taylor, 14.

All the girls agreed that they definitely want to go again.

"It was the best week of my life; everything we did was just amazing," said Ally Chicos, 14. 

The girls were sure to thank their teacher "Miss Jenna" for getting up at 4 a.m. to make sure that everyone's hair was done in the perfect soft bun; and the girls also thanked the Medfield Dance office staff (including Linda and Cathy) for their hard work. 

Editor's Note: Also part of the interview were Kelly Cimeno, 14, and Michaela O'Donnell, 16.

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