All-female krewe embraces self-expression through sweet dance moves
BATON ROUGE - Parades are packed with a variety of marching groups, floats and krewes. One local dancing krewe has dance moves as sweet as its name.
Baton Rouge native, Ellen Tadman, joined the Beign “Yays” five years ago.
“As soon as I heard about it, I said, ‘yes, I want to be in this,’” Tadman said. “I love dancing, so I'm in.”
The group gave her a fun opportunity to do what she loves.
“I have been a dancer for my whole life since I started dance lessons when I was three years old,” she said. “I loved learning the dances.”
Now, she learns dances with the Beign Yays as the streets of Baton Rouge are her stage.
“With the Beign Yays, in the parade format, is the ability to interact with the crowd,” Tadman said. “It is a wonderful experience to know that people are celebrating you and how you look.”
One of the group’s main goals is to celebrate their look.
“I just really wanted to create a space where women could come and express themselves,” said the founder of the Beign Yays, Jessica Newsom.
She thought Mardi Gras would be a perfect time for the group of women to express themselves.
“As long as you're matching in our teal and gold, you can wear whatever fits your body type and goes with those colors,“ Newsom said.
Most of the group have danced in costumes before.
“I think that most of our dancers have had some sort of small experience with dance,” she said.
But, you do not have to spend a childhood dancing to join in on the sweetness.
“You don't have to have, necessarily, any formal dancing or training experience,” Newsom said. “Dance is a great way to express yourself, so we all have a different look.”
The Beign Yays hold annual auditions because of its rising popularity in the city.
“Right now, we're a group of about 50,” Newsom said. “We audition for the few spots that we have.”
They plan to hold auditions for open spots in Summer 2022.
While the Beign Yays just ended their Mardi Gras season Friday night at the Krewe of Southdowns Parade, you can spot them dancing again for upcoming holiday parades.
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