By Keya Jefferson and Destiny Patterson
Mardi Gras is an important part of today’s culture. It has been an enjoyable tradition for everyone for generations from its floats to its music and the people who make it enjoyable – but let’s not forget about the marching units. My partner and I decided to write about the marching that goes on in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. As we take you on this knowledge filled journey, we hope you fall in love with it just as we have. Schools from all parts of New Orleans come out dressed in pretty marching uniforms with their amazing music and march up and down the streets of New Orleans, families come out to support their kids, and some people just come to take in the beauty of it all.
Marching has been around for a while, and it consists of about 6 parts. The color guards, majorettes, dancers, cheerleaders, flag twirlers, and of course the bands. Sometimes in preparation to march bands compete against each other to see who’s the best. Marching gets better every year between the new routines each marching unit comes up with and them just coming and showing out. Instead of us just talking about marching and talking about what we observe, we decided to take it too the next level and interview some members of our dance team.
We interviewed Darrielle. She has been on the team since the beginning and even formed the team.
Destiny: “What is your most important job as captain?”
Darrielle: “Making sure everyone is on point with the dances and has the motivation to continue on.”
Keya: “What does being on the team really mean to you?”
Darrielle: “Being on the dance team is something everyone takes serious because it is something we enjoy and because we want to look our best.”
Destiny: “My last question, I want to know what makes a dance team? Is it the captain or the routines you guys do?”
Darrielle: “What makes a dance team, well the people in it of course but the way the group forms a relationship and how every time it’s time to perform we give each other encouragement and how when we perform we perform as one and I believe that’s what makes a dance team”
The dance teams are not just about if you can go out there and show out, it’s about the way the group has that special relationship to where when they feel like they can’t do a certain thing they’re not scared to ask for help or when they are scared to perform in front of their peers they give each the encouragement to go out there and kill it. And that’s what Mardi Gras is about, bringing people together to have a good time and enjoy it while you can.
These marching units aren’t just a group of people that do this for fun, it’s a group or people who form a bond with each other and in New Orleans that’s our good, coming together, because even though we have some bad look past that and you’ll see all our goods, you’ll see what makes New Orleans, and you’ll see the way we all act like family when it comes down to our city. This is what Mardi Gras is about and we are excited to see how this year’s parade season will turn out, see you out there!
Keya Jefferson and Destiny Patterson are freshmen at the New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School.