Betsy Hummel

Earlier this month, Bettendorf High School students Katie Petersen and Jillian Roberson received costumes and a videotape of a dance to learn before the two Goldusters join 700 dancers for a performance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Katie and Jillian, both 18, are co-captains of Bettendorf's dance team, which earned them dancing spots with the Universal Cheerleaders and Dance Association's performance team.

They danced in the fifth row at the first rehearsal Saturday, but soon proved their dancing talent. Katie and Jillian will dance in the front row for the performance to be televised on NBC between 10-10:15 a.m. Thursday.

Katie described the dance formation as six blocks of three colors — red, white and blue. Katie will be dressed in a red skirt, red sweater and carry red pom-pons, while Jillian will dance in a white color block. Katie said the dance is about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes long.

Katie and Jillian practiced for six or more hours each day since they arrived in New York City with Katie's mother, Karen. Tuesday was the performance team's only day off, so the dancers, all dressed in matching red coats bearing a star on the back and a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade patch on the front, toured the Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, Ellis Island and Herald's Square; took in Broadway show; and shopped at Macy's Department Store. Katie and Jillian will return home Friday.

Katie had visited New York City with her family, but "it's so different being in the city with a group of girls."

Jillian is getting her first look.

"New York City is so amazing," Jillian said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "There's so much going on. Everywhere you look — lights. It's crazy!"

Last summer, Katie and Jillian attended a Universal Dance Association camp and found out in early August that they made the performance team. They are the only high school dancers in Quad-Cities to be on the team.

Katie said this is an opportunity she couldn't pass up, as is another dancing trip Dec. 26 through Jan. 2 when she will join the Universal Dance Association's All-Star team in London, England. Amy Krush, another member of the Goldusters, also will dance with the All-Stars.

Betsy Hummel can be contacted at

(563) 383-2202 or bhummel@qctimes.com.