This Florida Teen Is Performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade for the First Time

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It’s a moment 16-year-old cheerleader Ava Acheson has been working towards for the last 16 years, and now it is finally coming into fruition. 

Ava, along with hundreds of others performers, have traveled to New York City to perform in a holiday tradition almost as important as the turkey itself: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It will be Ava's first time performing in the parade, and she's showing off her moves with the Spirit of America squad. The iconic team has been in existence for more than 30 years, offering teens from around the country the opportunity to perform in the parade. All the young performers are  complete strangers, and they were given just one week to get in sync before the big show.

“I was nervous at the beginning of this week about practicing with all the Spirit of America athletes. I feel like we are ready to go out there, hit our routine and spread some holiday cheer,” Ava told  

 The Windermere, Florida, native is already an accomplished cheerleader, having won national and international competitions. Watch the video above to meet the talented athlete.

The annual event takes place in Herald Square, famous for its life-sized balloons of popular characters and performances. Many see the parade as the official kick off to the holiday season. Tune in to NBC at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday to see Ava take the iconic "stage" in Midtown New York City.


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