Studio 55 Dance

The dancers going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are, from left to right: back: Lylah Kilgore, Reagan Dance, Chloe Poskevich, Hailey Weiner, Jayme Belanger; third row: Addison Gottschalk, Jaeda Nesnick, Julianna Robles, Ari Havens; second row: Ansley Parker, Kelsie Mattson, Lily Riggins; front: Victoria Sprecher and Lia Estay. Not pictured: Kelsey Nesnick.

WOODSTOCK — Girls in Studio 55 Dance’s most advanced team do a little bit of everything the instructors teach, pulling off impressive flips and jumps in practice.

It was their professionalism, however, that got them recognized earlier this year and earned them a spot in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At a dance competition in March, the team of 15 earned a professionalism award and prizes that included an invitation to participate in the parade.

“We didn’t know they did this award. We were all very surprised,” said Wendi May, general manager of the studio.

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Girls in Studio 55 Dance’s most advanced team do a little bit of everything the instructors teach, pulling off impressive flips and jumps in practice.

What routine they’ll be dancing and what they will be wearing will be a surprise until October, when a video, costumes and special parade jackets will arrive at the studio.

The team going to the Macy’s parade consists of girls ages 11 and older, from sixth grade to college. They will be among 600 dancers in the parade, which is famous for having some of the top talent in the country, with decorated floats and giant balloons.

“They’re really goal oriented. They work really hard,” said owner and teacher Kaila May. “This, getting to go to Macy’s, is proof that hard work pays off.”

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Chloe Poskevich spins during a rehearsal at Studio 55 Dance.

The girls are looking forward to their trip to New York, which will also include tickets to a Broadway show.

“I’ve always wanted to go to New York City and see the parade, so being in it is really crazy,” said seventh-grader Ansley Parker.

An estimated two-thirds of the team’s goal of $42,000 has been raised for the trip, which is needed to cover travel, lodging and meals.

They’re selling vouchers for Donovan’s Irish Cobbler, which is holding spirit night fundraisers for the team, and a discount card with credits for multiple local businesses.

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Lia Estay, right, practices with teammates at Studio 55 in Woodstock.

Sept. 6, the team is hosting a poker night with a 50/50 raffle at the Tavern at Towne Lake Hills, 1003 Towne Lake Hills East in Woodstock. For a $50 requested donation, players can win cash prizes of $1,000, $200 and $50.

The studio is also seeking sponsorships from businesses and individuals. To become a sponsor or host a fundraising event for the dancers, contact Jill Riggins, fundraiser chair at studiofiftyfivesponsorships@gmail.com. To donate directly, visit bit.ly/2Nyq6KN.

Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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