And twirl 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8….and back 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ,7 8…
I wish I was a majorette (no, I don’t think I’ll start now, I’ll stick to my Zumba class) but if I was a kid again I definitely have a go. In South Leeds, there are numerous majorette and cheerleading groups springing up at schools, community centres and even in local parks (weather permitting). I’m sure we’ve all seen the Peewee Boyz (DAZL) in action, either in the local community or on the TV (see my story here about the Peewee Boyz) as one of the world’s first all male cheerleading groups, but today I’m going to focus on another group – the Leeds Baton Rouge Majorettes.
This group is run on a voluntary basis by Lauren (who works during the day as part of the Integrated Youth Service Team) and Ella Wilson with the invaluable support of their mum Suz Wilson (some of you will know Suz from New Bewerley Community School) and St Luke’s Cares. The aim of the Leeds Baton Rouge Majorettes is “to provide exercise and entertainment in a safe, enjoyable environment giving young people the opportunity to gain more confidence, learn discipline, dedication, dance and keep fit in the process”. And they do that by the bucket load, with five different groups running. The one thing they, and other local organisations providing after school and holiday activities, lack is ongoing funding. The Extended Schools and Services clusters in the area used to be able to support the this kind of groups in the area with funding, for targeted children, but this funding is coming to an end in the near futue. The Leeds Baton Rouge Majorettes’ group only take a small fee from the children and young people attending (and you get your first two nights free!) and are also very grateful to Suz for the support she offers, particularly helping with the outfits (thanks, mum!).
If the government cuts get any deeper small volunteer organisations like this will bear the brunt. I only hope the ‘Big Society’ gets its act together and works, and puts money back into these and other vital community services.
If you would like to find out more about the Leeds Baton Rouge Majorettes (and you might even want to sponsor them) please visit their website: www.leedsbatonrouge.co.uk.
Please support the group if you are shopping at Morrisons in Hunslet on Saturday 12th March when the majorettes will be helping with bag packing at the checkouts.
Details of their groups and which nights, etc are below.
Dinky Baton & Pom (up to 9yrs)
Tiny Baton & Pom (up to 12yrs)
Junior Baton & Pom (up to 15yrs)
Senior Baton & Pom (open age)
Military Freestyle (open age)
Tuesdays : 6pm – 8pm = Tinies & Juniors (aged 10+) – £1.50
Thursdays : 6pm – 7pm = Dinkies (under 10’s) – £1.00
Thursdays: 7pm – 8pm = Seniors & Military – £1.00