"Majorettes from the Mothership sent here to help the party people get their groove on."
That was the answer given by Camille Baldassar in response to the question "Who are the Pussyfooters?" (pussyfooters.net). Today they were one of the entries in the holiday parade along Canal Street in the Business District in New Orleans.
Baldassar, one of the founding members of the group, recalled her inspiration for forming the group: "I was watching one of my first Mardi Gras parades and fell in love with the gals who dance in the high school troupes. I was about 37 years old and thought, 'I want to do that!' I began asking around, and with the help of a few core women we called a meeting, held practices, contacted Muses, made costumes and the Pussyfooters were born."
In addition to simply having fun together in events such as this parade, the group lives its founding philosophy:
"Pussyfooters are on this earth to raise the consciousness of all women everywhere. Sisters from the Mothership work to support and empower women globally and locally. We honor our imperfections and dance out of love and non-judgement. We are--each and everyone of us--shiny diamonds."
Through organizing, costuming, and performing together, "Pussyfooting creates individual and group growth, self-confidence, and self-respect via performance. We are all amateur dancers, yet still get out there and strut our joy for everyone."
I think that participating in this parade would certainly build self-confidence--if one can meet this challenge, other challenges can certainly be embraced and met.
Since their first year they have done fundraising for several women's groups.
Men do play a role in the group's work, however. (This gentleman, left, is also shown in photo #1 above.)
Said Baldassar: "The first year we knew enough to invite our male friends to march with us and help out. The first parade they just jumped in and helped with crowd control, the music system, and kept us hydrated. We couldn’t do this without them."
I enjoy the marching bands. Even though John Philip Sousa's works are not played, the energy of the members is captivating.
And what New Orleans holiday parade would be complete without the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi.
No matter that the body type may not quite duplicate that of the King, the fund raising efforts of the group's members are greatly appreciated.
And in response to compli-ments received, the Rollin Elvi, I'm sure, would respond, "Thank you, Thank you very much."
And one final bead tosser. With little kids throwing beads, it's wise to keep your eyes on them. They throw overhand and very wildly.
And finally, Santa arrived.
Kitty Humbug skipped lunch with us at Serio's in order to gain a good spot along the parade route.
At the end of the day, it was clear he had succeeded.