Shen students to dance in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Posted at: 11/15/2013 6:56 PM
Updated at: 11/15/2013 7:32 PM
By: Steve Flamisch

CLIFTON PARK – Two Shenendehowa High School seniors are scheduled to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Tabitha McGill, 16, and Sabrina Noti, 17, were selected to join the “Spirit of America Dance Team,” which is comprised of 600 teens from dance studios and schools across the nation.

"I can't wrap my head around it," McGill told NewsChannel 13. "It's so much fun. We have so many things planned for us when we go, so I'm really excited."

Noti said they are counting down the days until they leave on November 23. The girls will tour New York City by day, and rehearse with the other dancers by night.

The parade will air live on NewsChannel 13 and NBC stations across the country. Millions of people are expected to watch.

"I'm not too nervous," Noti said. "It just seems so unreal so far, and now that it's right around the corner, it's pretty exciting." 


McGill and Noti started dancing before kindergarten. As members of the Shen Dance Team, they competed in a national competition and performed in the Disney Christmas Parade.

Their coach, Stephanie Buono, applied for the National Dance Alliance to evaluate the squad in August. By rule, the captains may be chosen to perform on a bigger stage.

The team impressed the evaluator. The captains – McGill and Noti – were then allowed to choose from among several parades. They picked Macy’s.

"It's really exciting for them," Buono said. "They've been waiting to do something big with the dance team. This is a great way to represent Shen, give themselves some confidence, meet new people. It's really great." 

Buono, who always dreamed of dancing in a Super Bowl Halftime Show, admitted she is a bit jealous of her students.

"How can I not be?" Buono joked. "But it's great that I get to be a part of it, knowing that they're on a team that I get to coach, and I get to see them all the time, so I'll feel like I'm there."


The parade steps-off at 9:00 a.m. McGill, Noti, and the other dancers will make their way from Central Park West to Herald Square, where they will perform a two-minute routine.

McGill and Noti said their costumes have already arrived by mail, and they are using a private video link to review the choreography.  It’s all a closely-guarded secret until Thanksgiving.

When they return home after the parade, the girls said they will watch it on DVR.

"I'll definitely go back," McGill said. "I'll watch it, and try to go frame-by-frame, and try to figure out where Sabrina and I are." 

Noti conceded it may be hard to spot them among 600 other faces: "Ooh! There I am. Is that me? No," she said, imitating the pause-and-rewind feature.

The girls said they intend to continue dancing in college, and they hope to teach dance in the future.