Pop Culture

6 Dance-Filled Reasons to Tune in to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is full of dancing, including the Rockettes. Photo courtesy Macy's

Don't get us wrong: We're totally looking forward to enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. But one of our favorite parts of the holiday actually happens in the morning. We've got six reasons for you to wake up early on Turkey Day, and they're all part of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The 92nd annual holiday event airs at 9 am Eastern on NBC, and this year, you can catch live performances from five Broadway shows, plus everyone's favorite high-kicking dancers, the Radio City Rockettes.


Dance has long been a part of the festivities. The Rockettes' first Macy's parade appearance happened in 1957, and performances from Great White Way musicals have been a tradition since 1977. Here's what to look out for on Thanksgiving morning.

Head Over Heels

This gender-bending musical comedy will have you tapping your toes to the beat, thanks to its infectious soundtrack by The Go-Gos. But Spencer Liff's electric choreography will really make you want to dance. Call it a pre-Thanksgiving meal workout.

Mean Girls

Which Mean Girls characters will make an appearance at the parade? The Plastics? Cady Heron? Janis and Damian? Hopefully all of the above, and maybe even faves like Kevin Gnapoor and Principal Duvall. Whoever's there, they're sure to be serving up Casey Nicholaw's choreography. And maybe Glen Coco will even be passing out candy cane grams. 'Tis the season!

My Fair Lady

The parade may air in the morning, but the cast of My Fair Lady will likely dance all night with moves courtesy of Christopher Gattelli. Here's hoping they'll perform the raucous number "Get Me to the Church on Time," starring a soft-shoeing, split-jumping Norbert Leo Butz.

The Prom

Here's your chance for a first look at the newest musical to hit the Great White Way. After opening last week to rave reviews, The Prom, another Casey Nicholaw special, hits the streets of New York City. It tells the hilarious yet poignant tale—through song-and-dance extravaganzas—of what happens when narcissistic Broadway celebrities decide to be activists to keep their stars from fading. Their cause? To help a lesbian teen in small-town Indiana after her high school prom is cancelled, only because she wanted to bring her girlfriend as her date.

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Sergio Trujillo serves up his stylized take on disco dancing in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Tune in to see the all-female ensemble get down as they (and probably you) belt out the Queen of Disco's catchy hits.

Radio City Rockettes

The Rockettes are synonymous with Christmas in New York. Their annual parade performance will feature plenty of precision, sequins and, of course, their iconic kick line. What better way to kick off the season?

Now that you've got your marching orders, don't forget to tune in!

Breaking Stereotypes
James Beaudreau, Courtesy Lara

Inside a bustling television studio in Los Angeles, Lindsay Arnold Cusick hears the words "Five minutes to showtime." While dancers and celebrities covered head to toe in sequins whirl around preparing for their live performances on "Dancing with the Stars," Cusick pauses to say a prayer to God and express her gratitude.

"I know that it's not a given, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to do what I love for a living," says Cusick, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For her, prayer is a ritualized expression of her faith that she has maintained since she was a girl in Provo, Utah. Even with her seven-plus years of industry experience, she always takes a moment to steady herself and close her prayer in Christ's name before rushing onto the stage.

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The hotly-debated Michael Jackson biomusical is back on. Not that it was ever officially off, but after its pre-Broadway Chicago run was canceled in February, its future seemed shaky.

Now, the show has secured a Broadway theater, with previews starting July 6 at the Neil Simon Theater.

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Jacques d'Amboise leading a National Dance Institute class. Photo by Lois Greenfield, Courtesy DM Archives

In the October 1969 issue of Dance Magazine, we spoke with Jacques d'Amboise, then 20 years into his career with New York City Ballet. Though he became a principal dancer in 1953, the star admitted that it hadn't all been smooth sailing.

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These days, social media is an essential tool for dance companies looking to promote their work. Karole Armitage's company, Armitage Gone! Dance, recently posted ads for their upcoming show at New York Live Arts, You Took A Part Of Me, a "mysterious and hypnotic display of erotic entanglement and unresolved attachment" inspired by traditional Japanese Noh drama.

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