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A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity: Bolles Performs at Macy’s Day Parade

Salma Shaalan, Contributing Writer

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This year, the Bolles cheerleaders will be given the once in a lifetime opportunity to perform at the Macy’s Day parade held every Thanksgiving in New York City.
After head cheerleading coach, Larry Hodges, saw the parade a few years ago, he immediately thought of the Bolles Cheerleaders. Hodges said, “I saw the parade cheerleaders, and I thought that would be awesome for our cheerleaders.”

While most must send auditions to be selected to perform, when Hodges requested more information on the event, the event coordinators explained that they were aware of Bolles, and they would not have to audition.

Hodges allows any cheerleader on either JV or Varsity to perform, but the school is not financially sponsoring the trip. So, eleven cheerleaders will be performing in the parade: Alayna Zanghetti (‘18), Sage Lucas (‘18), Nicole Foster (19’), Amanda Morales (‘19), Layla Farah (‘19), Megan James (‘18), Chloe Cochran (‘20), Savannah Friedelin (‘20), Caldwell Connolly (‘21), Tiffany Lewis (‘21), and Rachel Jacob (‘21).

Those participating unanimously felt that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Despite not needing to audition, the cheerleaders are still expected to put in enormous amounts of hard work. Team captain, Alayna Zanghetti (‘18),  explained the large time commitment that practicing for the parade requires. “We plan to practice outside of our regular cheer team practices. The time commitment is significant, especially since we are still cheering for football, getting ready to cheer for basketball, and have other school obligations.”

Zanghetti says they have been preparing since they were first told about the opportunity the week after tryouts. “We have been receiving materials including our music, choreography, cheers, and uniform over the past few months,” she said.

Choreography was received through videos, which they mastered quickly. James (‘18) said, “We learn our dances and cheers from videos at Bolles, so it is not very different,”
Once the team arrives in New York a week before the parade, they will perform along with all the other teams to decide their placement in the parade. Those who have outstanding performances will be featured in the front.

Zanghetti explained the work they will put in once they arrive in New York. Zanghetti stated, “Practices start with the Macy’s choreographers right away. We have several hours of practice each day.”

While the parade itself is a learning experience, those participating credit cheerleading as a sport which has significantly affected their lives. Zanghetti, who plans to cheer in college, expressed all the lessons it has taught her. “Cheer has taught me to be confident but not cocky. You must learn to lose graciously. Cheer is a team sport, and I have learned that I must persevere and never quit because my team is counting on me.”

She further reflected on how cheer has taught her how to be a good leader. “Most importantly, as captain I have learned that achieving true success depends on everyone’s participation, and that good leaders help struggling team members learn, grow and develop,” Zanghetti said.

Foster (‘19) said that cheer teaches important team dynamics. “You have to have trust in your team mates to be able to perform at your best.”
At this upcoming Macy’s Day Performance, they will use their teamwork in order for them to succeed.

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A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity: Bolles Performs at Macy’s Day Parade