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Red Lake girl to take part in Macy's parade

The 87th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will air 9 a.m. to noon Thanksgiving Day on NBC.

NEW YORK CITY -- Selena Jourdain, a 12-year-old Red Lake girl, remembers when she first started dancing; it was almost as soon as she started walking.

"It's just the one thing that I really like to do," she said.

Now, thanks to her dancing skills, Selena, the daughter of Trudy and Chris Jourdain, is about to take her place in the New York City spotlight as she appears in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"I'm excited," she said Tuesday, speaking by phone as she and her father drove to Minneapolis to catch their flight to New York.

Selena, a seventh-grader at Red Lake Middle School, will appear on the Oneida Indian Nation's "True Spirit of Thanksgiving" float, which honors American Indian nations, and represents the Oneida Nation's creation story with vivid characters, symbols and performers. The float, which premiered in 2008, features a 30-foot-tall white pine "Tree of Peace."

Selena, who said she thinks she will be on the float and not actually dancing, is a member of the Native Pride Dancers, a Minneapolis-based troupe that aims to share the "spirit and beauty of Indigenous peoples" through dance, music and storytelling.

It was through the Native Pride Dancers -- which performed at the Minnesota State Fair and just recently concluded a trip to Washington, D.C. -- that Selena was considered for the Macy's parade.

The family learned last week Selena was invited to take part in the famous Thanksgiving Day traditional event.

When asked if she was nervous about appearing in front of so many people, in New York and on televisions nationwide, Chris noted Selena recently performed in We Day last month in St. Paul before about 18,000 people.

"It's a lot of fun for her," he said.

Selena also represents Bemidji State University as its powwow princess, and that role, too, has afforded her several opportunities.

"Whenever we go, whenever they announce that she also represents Bemidji State as well there is a big cheer," Chris said. "We meet a lot of (BSU) alums as we travel."

Selena said she can perform all the dances but is particularly strong as a fancy shawl and jingle dress dancer. Her favorite subject in school is science, and she wants to be a cosmetologist and a "world champion dancer" when she gets older.


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