Fort Mill High dancer to perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comNovember 26, 2013 

Kelly Zeidner performs at the Fort Mill High Dance Team’s 2012 Breakfast with Santa event. On Thanksgiving she’s performing in the annual Macy’s parade in New York City.


— Kelly Zeidner just may have the most surefire way to knock off that lethargic, caloric-induced funk as common to turkey day as family and football.

She’ll be dancing for 3 miles with the whole country watching.

Zeidner, a Fort Mill High School senior and Tega Cay resident, will represent her school’s dance team Thursday during the 87th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Zeidner is part of the Spirit of America squad out of Frisco, Texas. She was named to the team in July during a Universal Dance Association Camp at Wake Forest University.

“You had to be a captain to be selected for the Macy’s parade,” said mom Corrine Zeidner. “It’s kind of a neat opportunity.”

Kelly Zeidner is captain of the 18-member Fort Mill squad, which she’s performed with all four years of school. Fort Mill Dance Team coach Liz Dukes calls Zeidner an “all around, fantastic kid” who grew into a leader, particularly this year. Zeidner also is an anchor on the school’s “Buzz TV” show.

“She’s a great person to represent Fort Mill High School,” Dukes said.

Dukes said Zeidner is the first dancer from the school to perform during the parade. Dukes believes “others want to follow in those footsteps,” and said the appearance is big both for the school and the student. The parade will be impressive on resumes or other opportunities, Dukes said.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for her, and it will definitely open up doors for her in the future.”

According to Macy’s, more than 8,000 participants will be involved in this year’s parade, including 12 marching bands and five dance teams. Spirit of America is a national group in its 28th year performing in the parade.

Corrine Zeidner and her family travel up this week to meet Kelly, who arrived late last week to rehearse. The trip includes tours of the city and Broadway shows. One of the pre-parade performances for Kelly’s group will occur on the “Today” show. Corrine said the experience this year will be unlike prior years, watching on television without the cold weather and massive crowd included.

“I’ve been watching it for years and years and years,” she said. “I do love it.”

The parade is at 9 a.m. to noon Thursday and is shown on NBC. Expected are an estimated 3.5 million people in New York City for the parade, and another 50 million or more watching on television nationwide.

Zeidner is the latest representative of Fort Mill in the annual parade. Fort Mill High School’s marching band performed in the 1986 event. The Nation Ford High School band performed there in 2011.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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