It is common knowledge that sporting events at historically black colleges and universities are not popular for sports, alone. Yes, the athletes do draw large crowds, but they do not do it alone! There are tons of elements to enjoy from the fun and inviting mascot, the glamorous campus royalty, and the catchy tunes of the band. The most lively element of the HBCU sports world is not on the field, it is in the stands, within the powerhouses known as marching bands— the ladies of the dance lines.
These small groups of ladies that often form into sisterhoods, captivate the crowd one move at a time. Dance lines are responsible for the eye-catching, rump-shaking, soul-stirring moves that get you out of your seat, and up, dancing to the music. Who cares if it’s cold? They don’t. Ladies in the dance line serve fierceness and flavor on a platter if it is 75 degrees, or 7.5 degrees.
To make the dance line is a privilege, as tons of young women audition for a spot in the stands. Only a select few actually have what it takes, sticking it out through band camp and often managing 2 practices daily, while maintaining academic competitiveness. It is not easy, but when done right, fluidity and ease of motion is all you see. Which squad deliverS without fail, every game, and is far greater than any dance line you have ever laid your eyes on ? Only one can reign supreme. Considering costume, captain, squad, technique, and consistency. See this years Top 5 HBCU Dance Lines.
Jackson State University – Prancing J-Settes 19%
For the second year in a row, Jackson State University’s Prancing J-Settes claim the top spot. With nearly a fifth of the votes submitted, the Prancing J-Settes are the 2016 Best HBCU Dance Line. In last year’s competition, with nearly 40,000 votes, the J-Settes earned 17% of the poll. These ladies pranced to the lead with 19% of all votes. Dating back to 1971, the J-Settes are known for their unique style of dance. In its early days, beingg led by majorette Shirley Middleton, this auxiliary dance team was trained to reach perfection in every prance.
With a band that is known nationwide, performing for the New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, and Detroit Lions, it comes as no surprise that its leading ladies reign supreme as the thrill of a million eyes.
Alabama State University – Stingettes 16%
Some may fear The Alabama State University Hornets but everyone wants to be stung by a Stingette. With 16% of the entire poll, these ladies climbed up 1 spot from last year’s competition, earning the second spot of the TOP 5 HBCU Dance Lines. Since the mid 1970s, this organization has been adding sass and soul to the band. Even gaining its own television reality show, “Bama State Style”, the Alabama State University Stingettes symbolize a legacy of talent.
Southern University – Dancing Dolls 15%
Southern University’s Dancing Dolls are no stranger to delivering show-stopping, sensational performances. These ladies are more than a dance team, they are a sisterhood. With 15% of the voting poll, these dolls dance their way to the top 5 HBCU Dance Lines. The Dancing Dolls have performed at the professional boxing match between Floyd Mayweather v. Manny Pacquiao, with artist Madonna, and at 6 Superbowls. Its band recently received acclaim from USA Today, NCAA, and ESPN. Talent is in abundance amongst this group.
Hampton University – Ebony Fire 8%
These ladies have flames you’ll want to burn. Rain, snow, or shine, Ebony Fire can be seen in the stands and on the field, moving to the beat. For years, this fiery squad has delivered compelling routines with unique flare. At the Inaugural Parade for President Barack Obama, these ladies sparked a flame that has
yet to dim. Earning more than 8% of votes submitted, Ebony Fire claims its spot amongst the best.
PVAMU – Black Foxes 7%
The final spot for the TOP 5 HBCU Dance Lines is claimed by none other than the foxy leading ladies of the Marching Storm. The Prairie View A&M Black Foxes are without question some of the best historically black college and university dancers known to the stands and field. Known to steal half-time, the Black Foxes wow audiences with new, visually-intruiging routines. Earning 7% of the poll, the Black Foxes complete the 2016 TOP 5 Best HBCU Dance Lines.