17-year-old Brooklyn native to perform in Panamanian Parade

A 17-year-old Brooklyn native will be performing in the Panamanian Parade Saturday for the first time after moving to Panama with her family at 5 years old.
Alessandra Clarke says she got into performing arts at a young age. She spent her childhood singing and dancing competitively, even making stops at New York University and Berklee along the way.
In 2017, she dropped her first extended play. Since then, she has participated in performances near and far.
When Alessandra found out she would be performing in Brooklyn's 28th annual Panamanian Parade, she says she was ecstatic. She kicked it into high gear and assembled a dance team full of dancers from Brooklyn. She's been practicing with them from Panama via Zoom.
On Saturday, she will be singing folk songs along the parade route and will also perform on the stage.
Alessandra says she hopes to inspire the audience.
"I hope that people walk away with a little bit of happiness in their lives because the weather is supposed to be gloomy tomorrow, but I hope when they see us perform, they're like 'wow,' they get hope. Especially the young people," Clarke said.
Brooklyn's Panamanian Parade is the largest one outside of the Republic of Panama. It's meant to celebrate the culture, leaders and educators who have played a role in transforming the nation.
Alessandra says she is happy to be a part of it.
"I think Brooklyn is just such a diverse place. I think everybody has to have their own parade, their own celebration because sometimes you forget," the teen said.
The parade takes place Saturday afternoon near Bergen Street and Franklin Avenue.