Kickin' It In The Big Apple: Elkhorn Dancers In Macy's Parade

A group of dancers from the metro will take the national stage Thursday at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The sound isn't for the faint of heart and the kicks could challenge the Bruce Lee's of the world. Yet some of these girls are just 7 years old.

"Keep your legs straight, you have to help your partner,” said 7-year-old Carlyie Hart. Don't be fooled, Carlyie means business. Every girl does.

This will be the seventh time the Heartland Hoedowners clogging team from Elkhorn will perform at the New York City extravaganza.

Clogging taps have a second tap on the toe and heel, which is what makes that special sound. It also requires a special technique, otherwise it sounds like mass chaos. These girls have mastered that technique and that's why they were invited back to New York.

The experience level ranges in the group. “I think it will be exciting to represent Omaha." Some have made the trip before, for others, this will be their first visit. “I'm just excited to be in New York because I've never been there and I think it will be a lot of fun Thanksgiving, fun to see all the people,” said 14-year-old Chloe Hardin.

This year, there's a new twist to the tapping. “It's a lot different than doing it without a float,” said 18-year-old Katie Harrison. “I think it will be fun, but it does change things a little bit."

Rennae Tieken will be directing the group of nearly 50 girls to perform their routine on and around the Office Max float. “We know that the float will be going down the middle of the street and we will have half the kids on one side and half the kids on the other."

They’ll be dancing to a ballet, also a first. But like any good performer, these girls will know how to channel the butterflies on the big stage come Thanksgiving. One dancer was asked if she is nervous to be in the big parade. "Yep.”

The girls are set to leave bright and early Monday morning.


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