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Boca Dance Studio dancers show off their moves at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Posted at 6:05 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 15:29:14-05

When you watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on WPTV on Thursday, you may have seen some familiar faces along New York City's most famous streets.

Almost two dozen students from Boca Dance Studio performed among hundreds of other dancers on the biggest stage.

RELATED: Park Vista High School band performs at Macy's Parade

Studio Owner Melanie Gibbs says a video audition secured their spot in the parade, and hard work and high standards helped get them there.

The 23 Boca Dance Studio dancers, all 14- to 18-years-old, were among 600 others performing in the parade.

"They’re good kids. I know that sounds simple to say but they are good kids, their families are super supportive of their dance life, just behind them 100 percent, which you know makes a big difference in a child’s life," Gibbs said.

That includes nine graduating seniors who have been with the program since they were 3- or 4-years old.

They did a series of fundraisers to make the trip happen, including bake sales, car washes and more.

"I immediately just fell in love with the exciting liveliness of it and just feeling like I was having the best time of my life," said graduating senior Kathryn Deyo.

"There’s just something about the Macy’s parade that just transcends everything," said Gibbs.

For some of the dancers, this is their second time experiencing the parade. The studio also performed in the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

"When they said we were going, I was so ecstatic. I couldn’t believe we were going again. I thought it was a once in a lifetime experience, but I’m very thankful its twice in a lifetime for me," said graduating senior Alexa La Bruyere.

Boca Dance Studios dancers enjoying New York City ahead of their Thanksgiving day performanc
Boca Dance Studio dancers enjoying New York City ahead of their Thanksgiving Day performance

Gibbs says there is no greater feeling than watching her girls succeed and perform on a national stage.

"To see them be able to get this opportunity, and shine and to see their faces on my living room television is the most rewarding thing. It is the only reason teachers do what they do is to be able to see them -- be that staircase for them, and to see them get to have that opportunity and to think maybe we played a small part in getting that opportunity for them. It's done. I don’t need anything else," said Gibbs.

"Dance is meant to be shared, it's a live art, it's a live experience, so what better way to share that than in front of millions of people on the streets of New York City," she added.

The dancers know it is an experience they will never forget. 

"To me dance is life really. It's expression. It's everything," said La Bruyere.

"Savor those moments when you have them because this is not an every ordinary day experience," said Deyo.

The girls had a full week of fun in New York City, complete with sightseeing and shows leading up to the parade.