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Embracing Diversity: Majorette Dancing for Every Body, Period.

"Breaking Stereotypes: The Inclusive Revolution of Majorette Dancing at North Carolina A&T's Liquid Gold"

Majorette dance is undeniably one of the most swagger-filled forms of physical self-expression, attracting dancers and TikTok enthusiasts alike. With bedazzled costumes, synchronized moves, and smooth choreography, majorette dancers bring intrigue and excitement to the bands they accompany, fostering school pride and camaraderie. This dance style, a fusion of hip-hop, jazz, and West African influences, stands as a celebration of Black excellence, particularly rooted in Southern culture and the legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

However, the world of majorette dancing has long been marked by limiting beliefs about what excellence entails, how it should manifest, and who is deemed fit to participate. Challenging these norms, North Carolina A&T's groundbreaking plus-size majorette team, Liquid Gold, is reshaping the narrative. Co-founded by students Jada Mayes and Leah Bell, Liquid Gold creates a space for individuals with larger bodies to explore the dynamic art of majorette dance.

Jada Mayes, having grown up with a background in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, discovered her passion for the high-energy, semi-acrobatic moves of Black majorettes during her pre-teen years. Inspired by the reality show 'Bring It,' which centers on the Miss D’s Dancing Dolls majorette team from Jackson, Mississippi, Mayes decided to venture into majorette dance herself. She had been part of two majorette teams before forming Liquid Gold at North Carolina A&T, driven by the desire to establish a different kind of safe space.

Mayes observed that while the university's existing dance teams did encourage inclusivity, there was a tendency to underestimate individuals whose bodies deviated from the perceived "norm." In the realm of majorette dancing, and society at large, a prevalent belief persists that individuals with thinner bodies are inherently more athletic and better equipped to execute the intense stunts characteristic of majorette choreography.

In the face of these stereotypes, Liquid Gold is redefining the narrative, proving that beauty and excellence in Black culture are not confined to a specific body type. By breaking down barriers and embracing inclusivity, Liquid Gold is paving the way for a more diverse and representative majorette dancing landscape.

"Inclusivity Beyond Size: Liquid Gold's Quest to Redefine Majorette Dancing Beauty Standards"

Jada Mayes, co-founder of North Carolina A&T's Liquid Gold, candidly reflects on the experiences that led to the creation of this groundbreaking plus-size majorette team. In her journey within majorette dancing, she noticed a pattern where plus-size girls were spotlighted, albeit in a way that felt less than authentic. Mayes often felt the need to work harder to prove herself, challenging the stereotypes that assume agility and mastery of dance moves are exclusive to certain body types.

According to Mayes, the perception that plus-size girls lack the required agility for majorette dance is a misguided belief. She emphasizes that success in this dance form is ultimately determined by practice and motivation, debunking the notion that body size dictates one's ability to excel. Mayes and co-founder Leah Bell are on a mission to break down barriers and highlight the vast beauty and talent that majorettes, regardless of their size, bring to the stage.

Mayes shares stories of talented majorette dancers who, despite being powerhouses in their own right, hesitated to join their school's majorette teams because of a lack of representation. Liquid Gold seeks to dismantle these barriers and showcase the diversity of beauty and talent that majorettes embody.

The text goes on to explore the broader issue of harmful body ideals prevalent in various POC spaces, particularly the emphasis on thinness as a virtue. Mayes challenges the societal norms that tie smaller bodies to success in dance, athletics, and general acceptance. She points out that perpetuating such beliefs aligns with fatphobia and ableism, hindering the celebration of the natural diversity and evolution of all body types.

In essence, the narrative encourages a shift towards embracing inclusivity and letting go of harmful stereotypes, fostering an environment where everyone, regardless of their body size, can thrive in the world of majorette dancing and beyond.

"Paving the Way for Inclusivity: Liquid Gold's Ascent in the HBCU Majorette Dance Scene"

Jada Mayes and the trailblazing members of Liquid Gold are standing at the forefront of a movement, contributing to the legacy of plus-size representation in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) majorette dance world. Drawing inspiration from successful examples like Alabama State's Honeybees, who collaborated with their school's official majorette team, The Sensational Stingettes, Mayes sees these partnerships as signs of progress.

Eager for further strides, Mayes envisions a future where Liquid Gold not only collaborates with The Golden Delight Girls, North Carolina A&T's official majorette team, but is also officially recognized as an A&T majorette team, marching proudly alongside their counterparts. Her ultimate aspiration, however, transcends the need for separate majorette teams, envisioning a landscape where inclusivity becomes the norm.

Despite being a relatively new presence, Liquid Gold has already made significant strides, participating in on-campus events, home football games, and off-campus gatherings like Greensboro Pride, where they have cultivated a devoted fan base. Mayes expresses gratitude for the overwhelming support they've received, fostering collaborations with other organizations. This backing fuels Mayes's commitment to Liquid Gold and her teammates, whom she believes wholeheartedly deserve the chance to experience the majorette journey.

The joy of finally showcasing their talents to the school and the world is a surreal experience for Mayes, reinforcing the profound impact that acceptance, collaboration, and inclusivity can have on breaking down barriers in the world of majorette dancing.

"In the finale of Liquid Gold's inspiring journey, Jada Mayes and her remarkable team are redefining the narrative in the HBCU majorette dance realm. Their vision extends beyond the present, aiming for a future where plus-size representation is not only acknowledged but embraced as an integral part of the majorette experience.

Mayes draws inspiration from the strides made by other successful cohorts, emphasizing the recent collaboration between Alabama State's Honeybees and The Sensational Stingettes as a beacon of progress. Looking ahead, she envisions a harmonious coexistence with A&T's official majorette team, The Golden Delight Girls, and dreams of a time when separate majorette teams are no longer necessary.

Despite being a relatively nascent presence, Liquid Gold has swiftly garnered support, participating in a range of events both on and off-campus. The resonance of their performances at gatherings like Greensboro Pride underscores the transformative power of their inclusive approach. Mayes expresses deep gratitude for the unwavering support, emphasizing the joy of showcasing their talents to the world.

In essence, Liquid Gold's journey serves as a testament to the transformative impact of acceptance and collaboration. As they continue to break down barriers, the legacy they leave behind extends far beyond the dance floor, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of majorette dancing, emphasizing that beauty, talent, and artistry know no size or shape. Mayes's vision of an inclusive future is a powerful reminder that the dance world, and indeed the world at large, is richer and more vibrant when every body is celebrated and given the opportunity to shine."