Look for Rockledge Dancer at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
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Look for Rockledge Dancer at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sophia Guignardi is a driven, self-motivated student at Rockledge High School who works hard to achieve her goals. So when she heard that anyone could audition to dance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, she set out to make her dream a reality. She auditioned to be a part of the Spirit of America dance team via video and was selected to be one of the 500 dancers performing in this year’s parade. 

Guignardi currently dances at Dance Variations in Rockledge. She credits her ballet, leaps and turns teacher Brooke Teresi, with inspiring her to go after her dreams.

“I am so excited for Sophia to go on this trip because she has always talked about how performing in the parade was a goal of hers,” Teresi said. “I think this trip will be incredible for her, especially since she is a high school senior looking towards her future.”

When she isn’t in the studio or taking dual enrollment classes at Eastern Florida, you will find Guignardi performing as part of Rockledge High’s color guard, or participating in school events as part of the National Honor Society and student government. 

Despite her busy schedule, dance is just one of Guignardi’s passions. She also is a talented designer and seamstress who runs her own small business. Persona-G is a personalized sewing business she started at just 8 years old. Guignardi sells her creations through her website and at local craft fairs, donating 10% of her profits to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

“I love that I can put my earnings towards something personal,” Guignardi said. “The whole reason I started the business was to raise money for JDRF. My sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was only 4 years old. I love giving back and helping my sister and everyone else who is affected.”

Guignardi’s mother, father, and younger sister, Emma, are all making the trip to New York to support their dancer. Guignardi will have to learn the choreography at home prior to her arrival and then spend several days practicing with the rest of the dancers prior to the big performance. 

“We have to go. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and she made it happen,” said Guignardi’s mother, Corey Ahern-Guignardi. “How can you say no to that? I’m tearing up just thinking about her dancing past. I am so proud.”

It will be the family’s first trip to NYC. Guignardi is excited to see the Statue of Liberty, a Broadway show, and the Rockettes, but also to explore the garment district. While in New York, she also will tour the country’s best fashion schools — Parson’s, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and The LIM College. After graduation, Guignardi plans to work toward a business degree here in Florida before moving to New York to pursue a career in fashion. 

Guignardi recently combined her passions for sewing and dance, creating an original line of parade inspired merchandise that she is selling to help raise money for her family’s trip. 

“I hope this trip can inspire her to keep reaching for her dreams and help her to know she is capable of everything and anything she truly wants,” Teresi said. “I can’t wait to watch the parade this year.”

Learn More

Sophia’s parade fundraising website
Sophia’s sewing products website: Persona-G

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