Published November 22. 2012 4:00AM
New London - When nearly 50 million people tune in today for the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a New London child could steal the spotlight as he performs on the "Sesame Street" float.
Joseph Salcedo, 11, and five other children will dance and sing aboard the "Sesame Street"/Muppets float as it approaches its Herald Square destination.
With less than a week to learn the choreography, Joseph said Wednesday he'd nailed down the dance moves and knew all the words to the song "What I Am" - written by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas.
"Yes. I'm very nervous," the sixth-grader said. "If I mess up, the whole world will be watching."
Joseph, who also plays the French horn, attends the Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication.
He may be nervous about his performance, but he's already met some of the "Sesame Street" characters, because last year he tap-danced in an "Elmo's Got the Moves" music video.
"It's gonna be really exciting because this thing is big," he said of the parade. "I've seen the float, but I haven't been on it yet."
"Sesame Street" parade coordinators chose Joseph from a pool of candidates, his mother, Tina Salcedo, said Wednesday, and his prior experience in Elmo's music video launched him to the front of the line as a potential winner of one of coveted six spots.
Tina Salcedo has driven down to New York three times in the past week, and on Monday she brought Joseph to Macy's for a rehearsal and camera positioning.
Salcedo said her son took tap lessons with Louise and Margo Neistat. Louise Neistat, a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, passed away a year ago today.
The timing of today's event is uncanny, Salcedo said.
"Louise loved the Macy's parade, that was her thing every year," she said.
"We think it's really special that Joseph will be in the parade exactly a year after she passed."