Southern University in the spotlight after Beyonce's Coachella performance
BATON ROUGE - In front of thousands of people at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and streaming live to millions around the world, Beyoncé's most recent performance was an ode to the culture of historically black colleges, like Southern University.
There was a particular sequence of moves that really has the SU marching band, especially the Dancing Dolls, talking.
“I honestly like cried, but it was like tears of joy because that means she must have at least watched our videos,” said Jordan Ezell, a third-year Dancing Doll.
The dance sequence of one dancer followed by other dancers repeating the same sequence is called a catch-on, and the Dancing Dolls have been performing their own version at football games for years. This past weekend, Beyoncé seemed to have taken some inspiration from the Dancing Dolls' moves.
According to the band's director, using the choreography and style isn't stealing or copyright infringement.
“We don't know who created what, but I'm just glad she's just taking us as a whole and putting us in the mainstream,” said Dr. Nathan Haymer, director of the Human Jukebox.
Breaking YouTube's live streaming record with more than 450,000 live viewers, the entertainer took the dolls' signature style to mainstream culture, which she has subtly done before.
“We see high schools all the time do our catch-on’s, and it's not really like a thing where it's ‘oh shoot she stole it’,” said Ezell. “It's really just like, 'Wow she actually recognizes us.'"
Haymer says the influence from her performance has people all over the world learning about the university.
“She's actually doing the whole HBCU culture a favor because they're going to google us,” said Haymer. “They may have never heard of Southern University or any other HBCU, but I promise you now they're looking us up."
Haymer also says the next step for the band would be to get a chance to work with the superstar.