Dance Troupes & Marching Clubs
Every year, as Carnival Season winds to a close on Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras, New Orleans locals and visitors from all over are treated to parades with high drama, color and non-stop action as revelers dance and twist and primp for the thousands in attendance. What would Mardi Gras be without its parades? And what would Mardi Gras parades be without the gorgeous dance troupes and marching clubs that join every year?
When thinking about these processional extravaganzas, don’t think the (relatively) harmless Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that we (sometimes) see on TV. No, New Orleans doesn’t do things like New York, and our Mardi Gras parades are a good case in point.
Here, we like to do it up big. And bold. Everyone in a parade is there to attract and make a scene, including the awesome dance troupes and marching clubs that get involved every year. Big costumes, big color, big hair, big glitter. This and more in the Big Easy, on a day unlike any other.
Check out some parade inhabitants from past-years Mardi Gras, and get ready to see something as great or greater when you plan your trip for next February.
New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies – This marching club parades on Mardi Gras day immediately following Pete Fountain’s walking club and before the Krewe of Zulu. They are a dancing & walking parade club with over 20 “Dancing Baby Doll Ladies” and a Grand Marshall. Originally founded in 2005 by Millisia White as a culturally-centered dance company, the Doll Ladies started parading in 2010 with the Krewe of Zulu They now have their own route on St. Charles Avenue. For more info, visit www.babydollladies.com
Bearded Oysters– No, New Orleans hasn’t got to the point where we have real oysters dancing down the street, but we do have this girls’ troupe that’s more into shaking and wooing than any kind of stilted choreography. Men are also involved, dressed up as chefs and called “Oyster Shuckers.”
Box of Wine - The Box of Wine marching parade alerts revelers that Bacchus is ready to roll. This group marches ahead of Bacchus dispensing box wine along the way.
Krewe of the Rolling Elvi - This group has two goals. Honor the memory of the King and entertain parade revelers and boy do they succeed. Dozens of sequin clad men riding around on scooters is a site you don't want to miss. READ MORE
Big Easy Rollergirls– What Fat Tuesday parade would be complete without New Orleans’ only professional roller derby team? The girls are ready to put on a jam – and maybe even challenge you to a match race!
NOLA Cherry Bombs – In the 1976 Runaways hit “Cherry Bomb,” Cherie Currie sang, “Down the street, I’m the girl next door; I’m the fox you’ve been waiting for.” That pretty much sums up these modern-day Cherry Bombs, purveyors of hardcore dance and big-time titillation and welcomed additions to any parade.
Pussyfooters - 100+ members strong, this all women's marching club encourages self confidence and self respect via performance. The Pussyfooters are a staple on the Mardi Gras parade scene performing in multiple parades, fundraisers and special events year round.They host an annual "Blush Ball", their biggest fundraiser, to raise awareness and support for local organizations.
610 Stompers - Known as Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Moves, the 610-Stompers are New Orleans' one and only all-male dance krewe. Born in 2009, the year the Saints made their very first Superbowl appearance, the 610 Stompers debuted in the Buddy D. Parade, in which thousands of men in dresses strolled from the Superdome to the French Quarter in honor of New Orleans sportscaster "Buddy D" Diliberto.
Crescent City Dames - Each year the Crescent City Dames select a theme in which the members create elaborate and meticulously beaded corsets. The Dames annual sashay takes place the Friday before Mardi Gras in the French Quarter.
KOE - Formed in 1998 by a couple of “netheads”, KOE is the first organized internet based krewe. Members from all over the US (and some from foreign countries) come each year to party for a week at Mardi Gras with their Mardi Gras Family. Our festivities culminate with our parade which gathers in front of the Cathedral on Mardi Gras morning and parades through the French Quarter. Members costume following a yearly theme and the parade is accompanied by Treme Brass Band.
Other unmistakable dance troupes and marching clubs you might see during Louisiana’s biggest celebration include names like the Star-Steppin’ Cosmonaughties, the Sirens of New Orleans and Roux La La. Every one is worth a second – and third – look. Watch for these fabulous dance teams the next time you wander into Mardi Gras.