Anywhere you cue the music, traditional majorette dancing is now grooving to a different beat.
“I love what I see,” said Becky Greer, former coach of the Jackson Academy Accents. “I come back and watch them all the time and cheer from the stands.”
Greer is back, but only for a visit. The Jackson Academy Accents used to be called the JA Reflections, but Greer came on board to lead a *new* generation.
“We changed the name to Accents, we got new outfits, and we started dancing,” added Greer.
And the JA Accents have been on the move ever since; now at the team’s helm, is Coach Haleigh Ritter.
“I did traditional jazz and ballet and hip hop, and trained up Joffrey Ballet School, went to Ole Miss, was a Rebelete for four years, captain my junior and senior year,” said Ritter. “So dance has been a part of my life forever.”
Ritter admits the Accents style of dance was new to her. She had to find a way to mesh *their* tradition with “her” millennial majorettes.
“It was a lot to take in and it was completely different than what I’d ever done,” added Ritter.
Yet, Ritter’s been getting the job done, and from one Accent leader to another, she gets a sterling review.
“She’s been such a big role model for me this year; so thankful she’s been here,” said Accents captain Hope Berry.
Berry, Mary Hunter Johnston, Meg Rice, and Alexandra Barlow are all captains of the Accents. They all tried out together, and once they all found out they made the cut, it was a dance dream come true.
“Accents were like idols to me,” said Berry.
“My mom was an accent in the 80’s, so I was like ‘I wanna be an accent too’,” added Barlow.
“You just meet so many people; you’re on a team of 35 to 34 other girls,” said Rice.
“It’s been great. I love it so much. It’s just an experience you’ll never forget,” said Johnston.
Nobody gets Jackson State fans more *ready* than Captain Morgan Hightower and the Prancing J-Settes.
And it’s nothing short of a thrilling performance by the Sonic Boom and Prancing J-Settes.
Chloe Crowley gives the cue,
“One more time”
And the show begins.
We caught up with Chloe Crowley and her girls at a special practice gearing up to break out their sizzling hot dance moves.
With the more J-Settes of the past, “they never touched the grass,” explained Crowley. “A lot of people would pattern our style and call it acrobatics. We do cartwheels, flips, round-offs, then give you a little pop pop here, pop here, and a little groove and everything.”
While there’s certainly been an evolution of majorette dancing with the JA Accents and Prancing J-Settes,
“In the olden days you saw a lot of ripples, formations, and group work,” said Accents Coach Haleigh Ritter.
Different teams who both…
“We can get crunk, but not full on crunk,” added Rice.
And even though these ladies boogied back in the day, every now and again they have to remind their girls…
“I’m busting it every time,” said Crowley. “I’m doing every single time with them. So, ‘ok, she’s still got it’.”
“I don’t kick many times in my living room,” said Greer. “But I’m still getting around.”
Source: MS News Now