SheBang! to perform at Macy’s Parade

Published 9:08 pm Friday, November 19, 2010

Tricia Ratcliffe couldn’t help but wonder how, “after all these years,” luck had found its way to downtown Troy.

But when she opened a box of dance costumes, directly from New York City, she said, “Oh, yeah. This is how it went down.”

Ratcliffe isn’t certain just how many years ago it was that she sent an audition video of SheBANG!, the championship clogging company that she directs, to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade selection committee.

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“I just know that all of the dancers on that video have graduated high school,” Ratcliffe said. “So, it was years ago.”

Each year since then, Ratcliffe has renewed the application and until this year, with no luck.

“I just didn’t know how we finally go so lucky and I’m still not certain but, when I opened the box of costumes, I had a good idea. I think it had a lot to do with this year’s dance theme, “Country Hoedown.”

The dancers will be performing to several country hits including “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and “Cotton Eyed Joe.”

“I think they knew that our dancers would be great performers and they will,” Ratcliffe said.

Seven of Ratcliffe’s top dancers ages 14-18 were chosen to clog at the 84th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is the longest running, most spectacular show down Broadway.

Dancers Randi Childs, Hannah Floyd, April Garrett, Merla Jo Laviner, Faith Spivey, Katy Spivey and Stephanie Spivey, along with dancers from across the nation, will perform live on NBC. Ratcliffe, the dancers and six parent/chaperones left Friday for the Big Apple and will return on Nov. 26.

“The dancers will rehearse all week and will do a live rehearsal for NBC producers to perfect television angles for the live broadcast on Thanksgiving Day,” Ratcliffe said. “Although the week will be intense with rehearsals, the girls will have some time to enjoy the big city — Broadway shows, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes and the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating.”

The SheBANG! cloggers will join other dancers on the performance stage during the parade and then subway uptown to Central Park to join the parade.

“They will escort Santa as he makes his way to Herald Square to welcome the holiday season,” Ratcliffe said. “Look for them in red, white and blue country hoedown costumes.”

Ratcliffe said the dancers have been fundraising, fundraising and fundraising for the once-in-a-lifetime performance event.

“A number of businesses and individuals in Troy and the surrounding areas have supported the girls’ efforts to make this opportunity happen,” Ratcliffe said. “They would like to thank all of those who have supported their efforts.

“Their special Macy’s tee shirts include the names of their sponsors and the dancers will proudly wear them in New York City.”