Local studio breaks tradition out of respect for Hailey Brooks


Aynsleigh Penland, Editor-in-Chief

The tragic events that took place at this year’s Raleigh Christmas Parade have greatly affected my thoughts and feelings of myself, my family, my friends, and other classmates.

This year is the first year since second grade that I have not participated in the Fuquay-Varina and Angier Christmas Parades. I was a dancer at Main Street Dance for 10 years and we participated in our Fuquay Christmas Parade and the nearby Angier Christmas Parade.

This tragedy has truly taken a toll on my thoughts and has been giving me the feeling of, “Wow. That could have been me or one of my friends.” Being a part of the parades was always something that my friends and I looked forward to each winter, and it officially got us into the Christmas spirit. Now, an event that once brought joy and appreciation for one’s community, is now a reminder of a tragic event that took the life of a little girl way too soon. I could not imagine a situation where I would not be stressed and fearful if I was a participant.

Many areas of the community have either not been given adequate information on this sensitive subject or have been asked not to speak out about the incident out of respect for the family, so not many quotes have been collected.

As a friend and fellow dancer, I reached out to Kaitlyn Matthews for any news regarding this year’s Fuquay Christmas Parade. She said, “Main Street Dance is not participating in the Christmas Parade this year out of respect for Hailey Brooks and her family.”

On a personal level, this news is bittersweet. Parents and friends love coming out to support their dancers and see familiar faces and it is sad that they will not be able to see these dancers in the parade this year. On the other hand, it is very nice to hear that the reason that the studio I gave my energy for almost a decade of my life is being so respectful. While they would love to participate like they usually do, they are setting their feelings aside and respecting a former dancer of their studio and another local studio.