In 1924, R.H. Macy and Company organized a parade through the streets of New York City.
Fast-forward to today, and that small parade is a nationally televised event that reaches millions of people on Thanksgiving. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features music, dance, floats and huge balloons.
This year, the Kruti Dance Academy was asked to bring their flourishes to the parade. The Duluth-based academy teaches classical Indian dance like Bharatanatyam and more modern dances from Bollywood.
Each year, a few groups out of thousands of applicants are selected to be in the parade. When she received a call from a Macy’s representative, Kruti’s Artistic Director Shemoni Parekh was surprised.
“I was completely thrown off guard because we actually didn’t apply to the parade, which is unheard of,” Parekh said.
The parade organizers found the group on YouTube, which features videos of Kruti’s recitals and other appearances. The dancers have been featured on competition shows like “America’s Got Talent” and India’s “Chak Dhoom Dhoom.”
Along with dancing the parade route and performing at Herald Square, the Kruti Dance Academy will be representing Georgia.
“It’s nice to recognize that we can be from the great state of Georgia but not necessarily do something very stereotypical,” Parekh said. “You see a lot of different cultures that are starting to flourish, and it’s not just the immediate descendants of those cultures which appreciate them, it is the entire community.”