Aquebogue teen picked to perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Danielle Allen warms up at the bar at Dance Center of Mattituck last week.

Fifteen-year-old Danielle Allen, who has participated in theater and dance troupes since she was just a tot, has always dreamed of performing on a Broadway stage.

The Bishop McGann-Mercy High School sophomore will get pretty close to that dream Thursday as she dances and sings her way to Herald Square in the 85th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Danielle and about 1,000 other young people auditioned in August for a spot on the “Zhuniverse” float, which will feature characters from the upcoming animated movie staring the Zhu Zhu pets, “Quest for Zhu.” Only about 130 performers were chosen.

An estimated 45 million people will watch the parade this year.

“I’m really excited,” said Danielle, who lives in Aquebogue. “I’ve never ever performed for so many people before.”

She also pre-recorded backup vocals for Radio Disney star Savannah Outen, who will perform her single “No Place Like Here” from the movie’s soundtrack.

Danielle has been rehearsing in Manhattan since Saturday and will continue until Wednesday.

“It’s going to be pretty much a full time gig Saturday through Thanksgiving,” said Danielle’s father, Al. Al will stay with Danielle at a hotel in the city from Monday night through Thursday, while mom Mary and sister Jessica stay home. Mr. Allen and Danielle commuted to rehearsals over the weekend.

Danielle, who both takes and teaches classes at Dance Center of Mattituck, also appeared in North Fork Community Theatre’s production of Footloose this past summer. She learned of the parade audition during a summer camp at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.

“I thought it would be a once in a lifetime thing,” she said.

Watch for Danielle during the parade, which airs Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon on NBC.

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