The Votes Are In! Check Out Your Picks for the Top HBCU Dance Teams!

Just as the marching band is an integral part of the HBCU experience, so are the majorette-style dance teams. 

HBCU dance teams bring infectious energy and excitement to sports games, pep rallies, and parades through their high-energy synchronized style of dance. In the 1960s, majorette dance teams rose in popularity at HBCUs infusing jazz, West African, and hip-hop dance styles.

According to Essence, “the original majorettes, or “Dansmarietjes” in Dutch, were carnival dancers who used batons. It wasn’t until the idea reached the American South’s high schools and colleges that it came to include a mixture of jazz-ballet and hip-hop dance.”

The first known majorette performance dates back to 1968. Alcorn State University’s majorette team, the Golden Girls made their debut at the 1968 Orange Blossom Classic against Florida A&M. They donned long, golden boots and gold capes, a classic majorette look that has carried onto today. The original Black majorette teams were known for their intricate headdresses accented with feathers and rhinestones. Today, they are known for their extravagant glittery outfits, fringe, and statement gloves that emphasize their movements. 

“The majorette dance style is a very unique mixture of stunting, marching, [and] energetic fast clean movements rooted from the Southern areas of the United States,” Dayjasia Wright, the captain of the Golden Girls told Essence

HBCU majorette-style dance is important not only to HBCU culture but to Black culture as a whole. It is also continuously being praised receiving widespread recognition in the media. From Beyoncé’s historic 2018 Coachella performance and its tribute to HBCU band and majorette culture, to the Southern University’s Fabulous Dancing Dolls ESPN+ docuseries, to popular majorette-style TikTok dance trends, it’s safe to say that HBCU dance teams relevancy and impact is substantial. 

Here are the Top Five HBCU Dance Teams based on your votes!

1. The Sophisticated Ladies – Tennessee State University 

2. The Dancing Belles – Central State University

3. Golden Girls – Alcorn State University 

4. Crimson Piperettes – Tuskegee University

5. Mahogany N Motion – Spelman College & Morehouse College