OSWEGO — A couple of local dancers will get an opportunity to perform in November in an annually historic event.
Hannah DiMartino, a freshman at Oswego High School, and Brooklyn Saternow, a seventh-grader at Oswego Middle School, are set to put on their tap dancing shoes in New York City and perform at the illustrious Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
DiMartino and Saternow qualified to dance at the parade through an audition that was run by the United States Tournament of Dance. More than 200 dancers between the ages of 7-14 auditioned in front of master choreographer and renowned dancer Chloe Arnold, along with other tap-dancing instructors.
Arnold, another dancing instructor, and two Macy’s representatives picked the top 90 dancers from the audition to showcase their talents at the parade.
Saternow and DiMartino will be two of them.
“I’m really excited about it. I think it’s a cool opportunity,” Saternow said. “When my mom first told me when we were going down to the audition, I didn’t think I was going to make it. When I did, it was a really big surprise.”
DiMartino said, “I was really excited too. For a second there I wasn’t sure if I’d make it. I was kind of surprised I made it. It was great.”
Both of the girls dance regularly at Tawn Marie’s Dance Centre in Liverpool. In fact, they are two of nine dancers from the studio that will be performing at the parade. The Oswego residents each have been dancing for 10 years, with Saternow competitively dancing for eight years and DiMartino for six.
DiMartino and Saternow have never danced in something like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The girls said they are nervous, but confident at the same time.
“I’m kind of nervous. I think it’ll be good, though,” DiMartino said. “Since everyone is watching you, you don’t want to mess up. I don’t think it’ll be that bad. It’ll be fun.”
Saternow said, “It’s a little scary (to think about). If you think about it like a dance competition, with the whole world watching you on TV, maybe it won’t be as bad. You get to dance near the Rockettes so it won’t be as scary.”
The dancers will be going the length of the parade, which is 2.5 miles. Dancing to Christmas music, the majority of the performance will be done by the older girls between 11-14 years of age.
“We learned some (of the dance) at the audition,” DiMartino said. “We’ll learn more dances at the practices, and dances while we’re walking in the parade.”
All of the dancers will start performing in front of Macy’s Herald Square. They will be right before the iconic parade float of Santa Claus.
“It’ll be easier for people to see the dancers, especially for our friends and family that will be watching from home,” Saternow said.
DiMartino said, “Everyone knows (Santa) is a big part of the parade so it’s cool to sort of kick off his appearance.”
DiMartino and Saternow are used to dancing on stages and in theaters, but not on the streets of New York City. Both of the girls see it as an advantage dancing on the national stage.
“I’ve danced (in New York City) before, but never in a big show,” DiMartino said. “I think it’ll be a good experience and a chance to gain that experience in a big show like that.”
Saternow said, “I’ve never been to New York City in that specific area. Once we get there before the day we have to dance, it’ll settle in that I’ll actually be in the parade. It’s kind of hard to believe since you watched it on TV and wish that you could do or be in that, and then you actually get to do it.”
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. The parade will be televised live on NBC.