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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Tammy, along with millions of others, are hoping to catch a glimpse of the inauguration parade tomorrow. It'll include marching bands, military drill teams and dance troupes from across the nation. One group strutting their stuff is San Antonio's URBAN-15. But its members almost had to skip the event. Texas Public Radio's David Martin Davies reports.

DAVID MARTIN DAVIES: Cat Cisneros is URBAN-15's artistic director. And in the days leading up to the inauguration, she's been busy.

Ms. CATHERINE CISNEROS (Artistic Director, URBAN-15): Next, next.

DAVIES: Cisneros is making adjustments to her dancers' costumes. Using plastic pull ties, she attaches a giant cloth silver star to a PVC pipe frame that's on a dancer's back. Cisneros hopes that from a distance, anyone watching the Barack Obama inaugural parade will only see the star and the dancer. To test it, URBAN-15 does a full dress rehearsal.

(Soundbite of music)

Ms. CISNEROS: It is beautiful. I am so pleased. The stars look gorgeous. They look gorgeous.

DAVIES: URBAN-15 will be shining, shimmering and shaking. And there'll be a stark contrast to the spit-and-polish precision of the military drill teams that will also march in the parade. URBAN-15's director, George Cisneros, Cat's husband, explains the group's dance steps have a special significance for the new president.

Mr. GEORGE CISNEROS (Music Director and Media Director, URBAN-15): The choreography involves a wishing harm away from the leadership, also bringing good luck and joy to the leader.

DAVIES: URBAN-15 has performed since the 1970s, experimenting with rhythm and media, mixing modern dance, lasers, found sounds and traditional South Texas Latino culture. Their energetic performances have earned them invites to two previous presidential inaugurations, a Clinton/Gore and a Bush/Cheney. But this year, things are different.

Ms. DEIDRE LACOUR (Assistant Director, URBAN-15): The Obama Samba, we're going to do!

(Soundbite of cheering)

DAVIES: Deidre LaCour is one of the dancers, and she is fired up because she will perform for millions of people and take part in history.

Ms. LACOUR: I have to pinch myself. It's happening. You're a part of it.

(Whispering) And I voted for him!

(Soundbite of laughter)

DAVIES: Yeah, well a lot of people did.

Ms. LACOUR: (Laughing) Yeah. It's not just me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

DAVIES: Fourteen hundred organizations applied to take part in the inaugural parade, and only about 100 were selected. URBAN-15 was one of them because they're so exciting to watch. So, they'll dance the one and a half miles down Pennsylvania Avenue. But San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger says there was a problem.

Mayor PHIL HARDBERGER (Democrat, San Antonio, Texas): When you're invited, the invitation is real, but no money comes with the invitation.

(Soundbite of laughter)

DAVIES: Hardberger held a news conference to urge residents to get behind URBAN-15. Supporters did raise most of the money needed for the trip. The small donations came through the Internet and added up, which is similar to how Barack Obama funded his trip to the inauguration and the White House. For NPR News, I'm David Martin Davies in San Antonio.

(Soundbite of music)

BRAND: Stay with us on Day to Day from NPR News.

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