Let’s Conclude our History of Majorettes
Now by 1940s, majorettes had already become part of popular culture. By that time it was clear that in the next 15 or 20 years to come, people won’t be able to go for very long at a time without seeing majorettes, or images of majorettes, or people wearing uniforms patterned after, inspired by, or just similar to a majorette’s uniform.
As a matter of fact, textile production companies who make clothing with the help of commercially available patterns would find no end of patterns usable for majorette uniforms. Those same patterns could mostly also be used to make skating costumes for girls.
7UP, a popular soft drink from Pepsi Company, ran a series of print ads showing people in ordinary everyday situations while clothed in attires inspired by majorettes. One such print ad from 1951 showed a family hanging out together at home. Nobody was watching TV, and there weren’t any video games yet. Everybody looked very happy as a smiling girl, early teens, majorette uniform, strutted about the room holding a baton. Her little sister was standing behind her looking as if she wanted to be just like the sister she admired. Her brother was enjoying a refreshing drink after his football game, and their parents looked so happy as they celebrated the boy’s successful game.
From these history pages, you might think we’re describing majorettes as a purely American phenomenon, but that’s only how it all came together in the beginning.
Baton twirling and majorettes spread here to Canada by the late 1930s and early 1940s, and majorettes were twirling and strutting in other countries by the 1960s.
In 1956, a Canadian band, the Thorold Reed Band, marched in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parades. The band was lead by majorettes Barbara and Joan Lounsbury, Canadian sisters who had a long and distinguished career performing as twirlers and majorettes, as well as teaching many girls to be baton-twirling majorettes.
Canadian football fans can tell you plenty about the Canadian Football League‘s annual championship game, the Grey Cup. The festivities surrounding the game has included majorettes, especially the ones marching with each team’s own band, and the majorettes did there part to make the day a success.
One of Canada’s most distinguished dance and twirling teachers was Dorothy Hurst. She founded and trained the Tigerettes, the majorettes associated with the Hamilton Tigercats football team. You might have even seen her marching in the parades with them.
It has been very common for dance schools to include twirling and majorette training.
Being a majorette was a desirable-enough goal that there were times, and places, when someone only needed to advertise classes, and they’d have plenty of would-be students, sometimes quite quickly.
Majorettes can now be found strutting and twirling in countries around the world, and have become more popular in some places than where they started.
From the 1940s to the 1970s, most parades with several or more bands would have almost 100% of the bands led by their majorettes. Now, there are mainly only a few of the bands being led by girls or ladies stepping high as they twirl their batons so skillfully..
Some have said that this is because there are more opportunities for girls to take part in other sports. That may have had some effect. Also, many marching bands have changed have changed their marching and performing styles. That resulted in some people thinking that majorettes just don’t fit in anymore with the band’s style. Maybe they need another 1930s-style trend-setter.
There still are baton twirlers who are keeping twirling alive, and who just won’t let it die out. We feel happy about them and support them.
Maybe we’ll see again the majorette as part of the image of the things we buy every day, including things we eat and drink.