College Dance Team Central

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Georgettes Continue Long UGA Dance Tradition

by Katie Raines
Athens Exchange

The University of Georgia established the first dance team in the Southeastern Conference in 1959. The Georgette dance line has performed alongside the Redcoat Band for nearly 50 years. Members of the Georgettes performed at the inaugural parade of President Jimmy Carter in 1976, the college football national championship game in 1980 and in five major Chinese cities on a performance tour in 2006.

The Georgettes dance in front of the 92,746 Bulldog fans in Sanford Stadium at the pre-game and half-time shows of every home football game. They also perform at three out of five away games each year, as well as at bowl games.

The creation of the Georgettes began a tradition of dance in the SEC in both football and basketball. The Go Girls dance team, now called the Dance Dawgs, was created in 1966 when members of the Georgettes began dancing at UGA basketball games as well as football games.

Since the founding of the Go Girls, every team in the SEC has created a basketball dance team, and most have started football dance teams.

Wearing red and black leotards and tall white boots embroidered with the "Georgia 'G', the Georgettes have a look that has become a tradition in the Bulldog Nation. Fans recognize the dancers on the field as a common aspect of the half-time show, but can not identify the girls as the Georgettes.

Although the Georgette line is the oldest dance line in the SEC, it is one of the least known by residents of its state.

The Louisiana State University Golden Girls have become a well known and beloved aspect of LSU football. The girls receive scholarship money and funding for uniforms and props. They are also highly recognized throughout Louisiana.

"When you ask a little girl in Georgia what she wants to be when she gets older, she says she wants to be a Georgia cheerleader or maybe a majorette," said Jessica Cook, 20, a third-year member of the Georgettes.

"If you ask a little girl in Louisiana what she wants to be, she says a Golden Girl. Little girls in Georgia never say they want to be Georgettes because they don't know who we are," Cook said.

Despite feeling unrecognized by the university and the community, freshman Georgette member Traci Raines, 19, says she loves performing in Sanford Stadium.

She hopes that in the future the university, students and Athens community will acknowledge the Georgettes' long-standing tradition and its impact on dance programs throughout the SEC.

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