The Prancing Elites, an all-male, all fierce dance troupe from Mobile, Alabama, thought it was just another typical day at werq when they were invited to participate in the annual Semmes Christmas Parade. Though their hair was laid like Christmas Eve, their faces beat to perfection and their moves strictly on point, the Elites have been receiving some serious shade from outraged spectators who felt their inclusion in the parade was “insulting.”
AL.com reports that members of the Semmes wrote parade organizers saying they were disgusted and that children should not have been exposed to the Prancers.
“I had no idea that they would be dressed the way they were and that they would think it’s appropriate for a community Christmas parade,” said parade organizer and board member Karen McDuffie. “Their costumes and the style of dancing were inappropriate.”
McDuffie dismissed the dance troupe’s moves as “vulgar” before issuing an apology on behalf of the Friends of Semmes, the parade’s organizing committee. Her complaints, meanwhile, echo the reaction the stars of Kinky Boots received when they marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Someone should really tell these people there’s nothing gayer than a parade and kids aren’t emotionally scarred by a queen in a full face. If anything, the children should be inspired to step their games up.
The Prancing Elites perform J-Setting, a style of hip-hop dance originated at Jackson State University in the ’70s, when it was performed by women. In the mid-90s, however, men got in on the action and the Prancing Elites have found a small chunk of fame for their “vulgar” dancing.
Former basketball star and noted giant Shaquille O’Neal is a fan and the troupe appeared on The Real, hosted by fellow queen, Tamar Braxton. They even auditioned for America’s Got Talent in November.
Despite the negative reaction, the Prancers are throwing the curtains aside and letting the light shine in; they have several gigs lined up and a potential reality show in the works. And as for the parade backlash, they chalk it up to a double standard.
“We are no different than any team out there dancing. We want people to stop looking at gender and focus on the talent,” group leader Kentrell Collins said. “It’s OK for a woman to put on tights and play football, but when a man wants to put on a leotard and tights, it’s a problem.”
Not for us. Snatch those Santa hats, hunties!