The Prancing Elites, an all-male, gay dance troupe received lots of flak from the small-town community in Semmes, Alabama after performing at the annual Christmas parade.
After the fact, the Elites were deemed inappropriate because of their “vulgar” dance moves by the parade’s organizer, who (wouldn’t ya know it) invited the group to perform. Perhaps they missed the group’s YouTube page which paints a pretty thorough image of what one might have expected from a gender-bending, all-male dance group.
And… don’t parades require rehearsals or something?
According to AL.com, captain of the risqué group Kentrell Collins recalled an older man who was directing the procession instruct him to keep the routine moving, despite reaction from the crowd and that, “If anybody says anything to you, don’t stop moving, keep going.” And that’s exactly what the fab four did, complete with a festive backtrack and hip-thrusting moves that would make Beyonce gag with bitter admiration.
The group’s members, who found a bit of viral fame back in 2004, donned cropped red and white Santa sweaters and short dance shorts, with faces done up better than a Nicki Minaj Viva Glam advert. The sexy Santas danced in a catchy hip-hop dance style called J-Setting, a cheerleading-inspired march that originated at Jackson State University in the 1970s.
Despite their inner and outer sense of holiday glamour, the group was very poorly received. The parade route was “filled with quiet outrage,” with parade organizers among many who were taken aback. “I had no idea that they would be dressed the way they were and that they would think it’s appropriate for a community Christmas parade,” said Karen McDuffie, who accepted applications for the event. “Their costumes and the style of dancing were inappropriate.”
Of course, all this came out after McDuffie—who is on the board of directors of the Friends of Semmes—received calls from “dismayed” parents, warning her that they wouldn’t be attending next year’s parade if the group was invited to perform again.
“I was outraged and appalled. I never expected anything like this at the Semmes Christmas parade,” said Claudia Davis, one of those “dismayed” parents who attended the event with her daughter. “If they were gonna put this kind of activity in the parade, they should have notified the people of Semmes so that we had a choice whether we wanted our children to attend and see something like that.”
Despite the negative reactions, the troupe is slated to perform at a few Mardi Gras gigs in Mobile, Alabama and a reality television show has been rumored for the near future.
“We are no different than any team out there dancing. We want people to stop looking at gender and focus on the talent,” group leader Collins said. “It’s OK for a woman to put on tights and play football, but when a man wants to put on a leotard and tights, it’s a problem.”