It’s crunch time for Mummers as they gear up for their performances on New Year’s Day!
Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars found themselves in a bind after their choreographer called it quits only months before the parade. Bill McIntyre’s great granddaughter Alex stepped up to the plate to save her club’s performance.
For many, the Mummers Parade is all about the family traditions. Bill McIntyre founded Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars in the 1940s and since then the McIntyre family has been heavily involved in Philadelphia’s oldest parade.
Alex McIntyre has participated in 20 parades as a fourth generation Mummer following in her great grandfather’s steps. Most Sundays you can find her rehearsing with the Shooting Stars under Interstate 95 and if she’s not there on a given Sunday, you can find her at Lincoln Financial Field.
“This is my second year on the squad as a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader, which has been amazing and it’s so much fun. Definitely a little different than here, but still two things that I’m really passionate about,” said Alex.
After her first season cheering for the Birds, Alex’s talents were recognized when she received the “Rookie of the Year” award. Little to her knowledge, her dancing skills would be much needed in months to come.
“We ran into a little bit of a problem. We had a hard time getting our performance together,” said Michael Adams, Captain of the Shooting Stars.
One October morning, the club arrived for a normal Sunday practice. It was then Michael had to tell them they no longer had a choreographer. Michael reached out to Alex knowing her dance background and experience with the Mummers.
“She was thrown to the wolves and she didn’t even flinch. She’s a professional,” said Michael.
So how does a Mummers practice differ from an Eagles cheerleading practice?
“You know at Eagles we learn very fast. We’re learning one dance in one night. Here we gotta take a step back and take it a little slower. They’re a lot of union workers not professional dancers, but they’re awesome and they’re working so hard.”
On top of Alex’s new responsibilities as a choreographer, the 2020 Mummers Parade is going to be a particularly tough one for the McIntyre family.
“This is the first year without my grandfather. He passed away this year. It’s been really tough on my family. It’s a lot of firsts without him of course.”
But Alex said this year’s first of leading her team’s choreography is enough to keep that smile on her face on New Year’s Day.