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Rehearsals are where everyone meets for the first time. This is where you make new friends and reconnect with old friends. Rehearsals for the parades really are a ton of fun! It is so exciting to learn your new choreography and work with the floats for the first time. This is where you bond with your fellow cast members which is a crucial part of the success of the parade. If you don't feel comfortable with your fellow cast members it could be reflected in your performance. It is so important to know that everyone in the parade is on your side and that > you have friends out there with you. It's a little stressful when you are performing in front of thousands of people and you feel like you're all by yourself, but when everyone works as a team and helps each other out it is the most amazing feeling in the world.

Not everyone in the parade rehearses on the same night until the very end. You break down into sections called "units." Units are the different sections of the parade generally using the different floats as the main focus of each unit. (i.e. in the christmas parade there's the "Ball unit." This unit includes the princes and princesses on the float as well as the dancers in front and behind the float. The "candy shop unit" includes the Goofy/Max float, the candy bakers, and the gingerbread men.) The schedule for rehearsals calls you by your unit. No unit rehearses every night, so you really have to look at the schedule to make sure you know when you're supposed to be there.

The rehearsals generally start any time after 5:00pm. usually they start around 8:00pm and run until midnight or 1:00am. Once you get to the end of the rehearsal schedule the last three nights are spent rehearsing on the actual parade route. All other rehearsals have taken place backstage. The backstage rehearsals start in the rehearsal halls until choreography is learned, then they move outside where we do what is called "looping." Looping is where they bring the floats out of the wherehouse and we actually loop around the wherehouse as if we were on route. We do this until street rehearsals start.

Street rehearsals start after the park hasclosed for the day so it really depends on the season as to how late they start. Usually though they start at 11:00 or later and run for about four hours. We run the parade twice each night in full costume. No, we don't ever get out earlier than 3:00am! This goes on for three nights and then the parade opens for the public the very next day.

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