Adult and satirical dance troupes like the Pussyfooters, Muff-A-Lottas and Disco Amigos have been a hallmark of New Orleans parades in the 21st century. On Saturday, May 21, from 2-6 p.m. at the Spanish Plaza at the foot of Canal Street, 19 of these dancing, prancing, and spinning teams will participate in the third annual Halfway to Halloween Dance-Off, presented by the Krewe of BOO!
Dance groups will take turns presenting their best moves to a panel of judges, who will name a winner based on choreography, originality and performance. The Camel Toe Lady Steppers won first place in the inaugural contest in 2019. In 2021, Roux La La was the overall winner. The 2020 competition has been canceled due to the COVID quarantine.
Boo’s Krewe! is best known for its annual Halloween season parade, which was New Orleans’ first major parade to return after the coronavirus shutdown. Several satirical dance troupes take part in the annual popular procession.
The Halfway to Halloween Dance-Off, which is free to the public, will include a drum performance by the Skinz N Bonez Mardi Gras marching band. Three traditional dance schools will also perform during the event.
High school, college, and private dance groups have played a role in carnival parades for as long as anyone can remember, of course. But over the past two decades, and especially in the years following Hurricane Katrina, somewhat absurd, ironic, grown-up dance and march groups have played a major role in the city’s celebrations. In 2020, there were at least 60 such groups.
Founded in 2000, the Pussyfooters inspired their band’s name from ‘The Vagina Monologues’, a daring play on female identity that was peaking in popularity at the time. The subversively feminist title inspired other bands to adopt double-meaning titles.
Bands participating in Saturday’s event include: NOLA Cherry Bombs, Dance Fleur Elite, Disco Amigos, Dream Dolls, Dynamite Dolls, Lucha Krewe, Mande Milkshakers, MKFF’s Cherchez La Femme, The Muff-A-Lottas, NOLA Angels, NOLA Bombshells, NOLA Heat, Pussyfooters, Jailhouse Rockers, Roux La La, Sassyracs, The Sirens of New Orleans, Streetcar Strutters and The Jamettes.
Spanish Plaza is located at 2 Canal St. near Riverwalk. For more information, visit the Dance-Off website.