Aside from the copious amounts of turkey and stuffing and pie we eat on Thanksgiving and time spent with family, one of the best part about Turkey day is sitting down and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday morning. This year, keep an eye out for a little local representation in the parade because dancers from the Armstrong School of Dance in Ithaca will be performing.

This is the fifth year dancers from Armstrong have been asked to perform in the parade, and this year, they're bringing 22 dancers. Karen Gorsky, the owner of Armstrong, told The Ithaca Voice she knows what the experience and exposure means to her students, as three of her own daughters have performed in the parade.

"I'm so excited for these guys," Gorsky told The Ithaca Voice. "It really puts their small-town training on a big stage and validates all that they've done their whole lives. They come to this studio several days a week for 10, 11, 12 years some of them and this brings them together with other dancers from other communities and pulls them all together on the big stage in New York City. It's a great opportunity."

According to The Ithaca Voice, these dancers, all in high school, put in a lot of hard work to prepare for the parade and year-round competitions, usually practicing for eight to nine hours each week on a consistent basis. Badyn Milstein-Touesnard has been with Armstrong for 11 years and told The Ithaca Voice her team comes in on the weekends to practice together. The Thanksgiving Day Parade is a way for them to show off their hard work.

"It's a really awesome opportunity we're going to get to dance with people from all over the U.S. which is really awesome," Milstein-Touesnard told The Ithaca Voice. "We can learn from them and it's really nice to meet new people."

The trip to the big city is nowhere close to cheap, though. Gorsky told The Ithaca Voice it costs right around $3,000 for each dancer, but they've had a lot of local support.

"They have been preparing and fundraising for about a year now for this, in order to pay for their six-day trip to New York City where they rehearse with all the other dancers from all over the country," Gorsky told The Ithaca Voice. "Their families and our dance studio have been fundraising, and we've had a lot of area businesses contribute to them, as well as they've personally paid out of pocket."

You can cheer on the Armstrong dancers in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade November 28 between 9 a.m. and noon on NBC. I know I will be!

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