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Magazine » March April 2012 Issue » USA Dance Members Perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade

USA Dance Members Perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade

Breanna Olaveson
Date Published:
March 1, 2012

The Los Angeles County USA Dance Chapter #4031 rocked around the clock on January 2 as part of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. They, along with skateboarders and Kit-Cat Clock owners, paid tribute to the eight decades the California Clock Company has been an American and Iconic company.The float's theme, "Timeless Fun for Everyone," celebrated the company's history of creating products that Americans have enjoyed for generations. Junior DanceSport couple Aaron Altman and Rashell Khalfin, along with their fellow members of the USA Dance chapter, performed swing on the float and in the streets for an audience of 3 million along the route and more than 53 million who watched live and on television.

Junior DanceSport athletes Aaron Altman and Rashell Khalfin rocked around the clock—even if it wasn't actually a working clock—as part of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena Jan. 2. The junior couple and other members of the Los Angeles County Chapter #4031 helped California Clock Company celebrate 80 years in business. It is estimated that coverage of Aaron and Rashell's interviews along with USA Dance's Rose Parade involvement will eventually reach an audience of nearly 300 million viewers worldwide. Aaron and Rashell have been dancing together for seven years and won a junior competition on Dancing With the Stars in 2008.

The California Clock Company's float in the Tournament of Roses Parade was decorated with props based on the theme "Timeless Fun for Everyone." A 24-foot black and white Kit-Cat Clock, a chocolate malt from a '40s soda fountain and a jukebox from the '50s adorned the float while several members of the Los Angeles chapter of USA Dance swing along the parade route. "We are proud to be a part of American nostalgia, and we thought having dancers on the float would be a fun way to entertain spectators and show the '50s," said Woody Young, CEO of the California Clock Company.

"USA Dance and our local Los Angeles County Chapter, representing all ballroom and Latin dancers across America, are excited to be part of the Kit-Cat Clock float in the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade. What better way to "swing in the new year" than "Dancing for America" in alliance with the California Clock Company, whose magnificent Kit-Cat float is a fun celebration and tribute to all that is American-made." Angela Prince, PR Director for USA Dance

Interview with USA Dance
Los Angeles County Chapter
President Herbert McGurk

Why did your chapter decide to get involved in the Rose Parade, or how did you get involved in the first place? I received a call from Kit-Cat Clock's David Milburn the day after our Halloween Dance Party. He left a message on my voicemail identifying himself as a representative from the American Clock Company maker of the Kit Cat Clock. They were going to have a float in the Rose Parade and he thought USA Dance and their members would be a great fit for their overall theme of their float. I called the same day and told him we would be very interested in participating in the Rose Parade and everything took off from that point.

How much time was spent by USA Dance members preparing for and participating in the parade and what were their roles/responsibilities? Most of the time was spent with David Milburn, his PR company, The Bohle Company, USA Dance's PR Superstar Angela Prince, our PR director Livia Squires, preparing for the different stages of the Rose Parade event; the wet decorating, test driving the float, media events and the parade itself. The star USA Dance members were Aaron Alman and Rashell Khalfin, DanceSport Junior Athletes, Latin and Standard Champions, winners on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Junior Competition and their mothers who made sure they were ready for dancing on the float at 4 am for the many TV networks or getting them to personal interviews by5 am.

How do you feel this experience has helped your chapter and USA Dance? It provided a window of opportunity for USA Dance and made us proud to be ambassadors of DanceSport and ballroom dancing in America.

Do you have any further plans or opportunities for the chapter that may have been sparked by the Rose Parade participation? There were three Southern California USA Dance chapters that participated in the Rose Parade; Los Angeles County, Antelope Valley and Orange County. I believe USA Dance will always have opportunities when chapters support each other and grow together.

Photo by Jim Woody Woods. USA Dance members Herbert McGurk, Lisa Sandoval, Jerry Hernandez, Laura Harvell, Alexandra Caluen, Philip Caluen, Gaida Paulovska, and Aydin Aksoy all danced along the parade route next to the Kit-Cat float while Aaron Altman, Rashell Khalfin performed on the float.