One hundred girls attended the second Jacksonville State University Marching Ballerina Boot Camp at JSU on Friday.
The day-long camp was open to girls 5 years old to seniors in high school.
Rebecca Davis, the Ballerina who led the event, said the Marching Ballerinas started in 1956. The Ballerinas were modeled after the Rockettes and still perform the traditional kickline today, performing with the school’s marching band, the Southerners.
“We have the sharp boots, the Santa suits, and the kickline,” Davis said. “It’s the same as it was in 1956. We did add a modern style routine in the early 2000s to keep up with the trends.”
Davis said the modern style is a jazz routine that is similar to what is taught in jazz dancing studios.
Davis said the camp is a fundraiser for the Ballerinas’ uniforms.
“Last year was very successful,” Davis said. “That’s why we decided to do it again this year.”
Davis said the girls were split into three age groups. Each group was taught a choreographed routine that they performed for family and parents at the end of the camp.
“All the routines are based on the moves we do as Ballerinas,” Davis said. “It really gives the girls an idea of what it’s like to be a Ballerina.”
Kendall Johnson, a first year Ballerina, said the camp gave her an opportunity to help young girls.
“It’s good to interact with the girls to set a good example,” Johnson said.
Emily Rich, a second year Ballerina, said she saw the Marching Ballerinas perform when she was in middle school. It has been her dream to be a Ballerina ever since.
“I took six years of dance and I was on my high school’s kick line,” Rich said. “My high school actually modeled their kick line after the Ballerinas so I knew some of the moves when I got here.”
Davis said most of the girls who attended the camp know a Ballerina or have family members who were Ballerinas during college.
Adrianne Lane, a third-year Ballerina, said dancing isn’t available where she is from in Georgia. She said when she came to JSU, she thought it looked fun and tried out for the team.
“I played softball and basketball in high school,” Lane said. “Dancing is something I’ve always done to unwind.”
The camp ended at noon with a performance for family and friends by each age group.