Friday, November 21, 2003

Dancers practice for big parade



By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

[IMAGE] Crystal Graham (left) and Sara Schmalz
(Provided photo)
WEST CHESTER TWP. - Sara Schmalz figures she has six days to learn her dance routine before she gets really nervous.

The Lakota West High School senior is one of two members of the school's dance team who will perform Thursday in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Sara and teammate Crystal Graham were asked to join a group sponsored by the Universal Dance Association after attending a camp the Texas-based organization put on at Ohio State University.

UDA, which features more than 800 of the nation's top high school cheerleaders and dancers, is making its 18th trip to New York to participate in the parade.

"I am really excited but I'm not too nervous yet,'' said Sara, 18, of Liberty Township.

ON THE AIR
What: 77th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
When: 9 a.m.-noon Thursday.
Where: Channel 5 (NBC).
Sara and Crystal will join three other Southwest Ohio groups that will strut their stuff Thursday before national cameras on Herald Square:

• The Oak Hills High School Varsity Singers will join America Sings to open the 77th annual parade.

• For the second time in three years the Kings Firecrackers jump rope team - made up of elementary and junior school students - will perform.

• The Miami University Marching Band will perform.

This will be Sara's second time performing before a national crowd. Two years ago she was a backup dancer to Take 5 in the Citrus Bowl.

Crystal said she is already nervous but admits she has put much of the pressure on herself. The dance routine they were given to learn earlier this month is different than any Crystal has done before.

"It's a cross between cheerleading and dancing. It's not what I'm used to. I'm not a cheerleader,'' said Crystal, 17, of West Chester Township.

Both girls say they have been practicing feverishly and will continue to do so until they leave.

E-mail suek@infionline.net




ARCHDIOCESE PLEA DEAL
Archdiocese found guilty of failing to report abuse
Mike Allen's statement on plea agreement
Despite plea, few see need for bishop's exit
Some of faithful content with plea
Fund for victims has a big catch
Ask a question about the Archdiocese's plea

TOP STORIES
Jazz fans tune in to Mama
Con man gets 23 years
Man dies crossing Ohio Pike

IN THE TRISTATE
Trustees delay parking change
Batavia schools tighten belts
Alum endows Miami U. faculty post in finance
Bus driver charged in death of pedestrian
Supporters rally behind county plan for future
City turns over Empire fiasco documents to FBI
Lakota schools warn of cuts
Photo brings out splendor of lit-up river, Tall Stacks
Dancers practice for big parade
Regional Report
Firm gets rights to Children's heart drug
West asks to be own lawyer

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Downs: Got $100,000 that's burning a hole in your pocket?
Howard; Good Things Happening

OBITUARIES
Ronald Fein was court magistrate
Catherine C. Borchers gave time to children
Kentucky Obituaries

OHIO
Legislative counsel charged in 'naked photographer' case
Taft threatens to veto bill allowing concealed guns
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Anime convention may draw 1,000 to N.Ky.
Three die when plane crashes near college
African singers are just kids, too
Diocese wants judge removed
Traffic study under review in Kenton Co.
Kentucky to do