Students from Montgomery, Alabama blew the crowd away this year at the Rex Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans.
Rex means “King” in Latin, making this the King of Mardi Gras Parades!
The group, headed by drum major Justin Heideman took to the busy streets to show off their moves.
Onlookers went wild for the crew of four boys who stepped with purpose and rhythm as they marched down the street. Their peers – some female dancers and a live band – marched behind them.
Marching bands have been a tradition at College and University campuses since the 19th century, and are most popular in the Southern United States, where the groups are most often compromised of African-American students.
So it’s unusual to see a white front-man in a marching band. Which explains the significance of Justin Heideman’s hilarious nickname the crew have endearingly bestowed upon him: Vanilla Funk.
He takes his position very seriously, and works hard to make the drum majors who came before him at Jeff Davis High School proud. You can see the determination on his face as he performs!
Equal parts trendy and technical, the dancers bound down the street with purpose and presence.
Parade-goers are screaming their names, taking photo, videos, and clapping along with the band.
After a long stint of intense performing, the boys take a step back and let the girls take the spotlight. They are confident and crush the moves they’ve brought to the show!
For a portion of the long parade route the dancers and marchers both dance front and centre for a mixed routine.
It’s cool to see the whole group come together!
The parade route is a long one! It would take an average walker just under an hour and a half, according to Google Maps.
So imagine having to give it your all while dancing and marching down the road!
People took to the comment section to acknowledge the distance the performers had travelled.
You can tell these kids have some serious stamina and dedication to their craft.
Their high energy routine includes high jumps, staff twirling, and even some amazing back bends.
New Orleans’ Mardi Gras is arguably the best parade in the world, drawing almost one and a half million visitors every year.
You can tell how busy it is by all the bright colored plastic and paper in the street (don’t worry – there’s a cleaning crew!).
Performing in this parade is an amazing feat for all the marchers, dancers, and musician the band – and at such a young age! It will surely open some amazing doors for them in the future.
This video has already reached more than 130,000 views, and the students were surprised to see that it had gone viral!
“I just busted out laughing, I can’t feel no way. The group didn’t expect it to blow up and when it did, it became surreal.” – Drum Major Justin Heideman
They’ve made their friends, family, and peers at Jeff Davis High School very proud!
We can’t wait to follow their success in the future.
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