TCU sees a new dance team take the stage


The Royal Divas, the first majorette team on TCU’s campus, practice a routine. (Breana Adams/TCU 360)

By Breana Adams, Staff Writer

Schools across the country are working on diversity initiatives of all kinds. At TCU, a group of women took matters into their own hands by creating the TCU Royal Divas, the first majorette dance team for African American women on campus.

The Royal Divas made their debut at the Hair Gala, hosted by TCU Naturally Mi, on Nov. 15.

Sherlee Pollock, the founder of TCU Royal Divas, noticed a void on campus for women of color to express themselves through dance and took the initiative to create the team.

“This process has been a ride, to say the least,” said Pollock, a junior political science major. “I got a solid group of girls who I really do trust, and we took it to TCU.”

According to TCU Institutional Research, 4.9% of undergraduate students identify as Black or African American; that’s 604 undergraduate students.

After months of paperwork, meeting with a representative from the Office of Student Organizations and drafting the organization’s constitution, the TCU Royal Divas is officially recognized as a TCU organization with approximately 25 active members.

Majorette dance teams started in the 1960s at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, to provide an outlet for Black women to express themselves through dance. Majorette dance teams typically perform alongside marching bands.

“It’s more versatile in a way where it’s not just booking or competing,” said Carla Robertson, a junior theater major and one of the Royal Divas’ team captains. “It’s also jazz, contemporary, ballet, it’s a mixture of dances.”

For some dancers, majorette has always been a part of their life.

“I’ve been a majorette dancer since I was in the second grade,” Robertson said. “So just having that outlet here on campus, even though it’s a PWI [predominately white institution], but still having that outlet is really exciting.”

However, some African Americans have not accepted having HBCU traditions at predominantly white institutions.

A video of USC majorette team, the Cardinal Divas, received backlash after their first performance.

The video has sparked a conversation on HBCU’s traditions and if they should be brought to predominantly white institutions.

“It took me off guard,” Pollock said. “I thought that African Americans who actually do go to HBCUs would be supportive of us starting a majorette at a PWI. I applaud the USC girls because they’re literally doing what I’m doing and they’re literally going through this backlash.”

This adversity has only fueled the Royal Divas to move forward with creating the team. For the past several months, the team has practiced their routines, perfected their stunts and reminded themselves why they put in the work to make it to this stage.

TCU Royal Divas majorette dance team after their first performance. (Carla Robertson / TCU Royal Divas)

“Having the majorette, you can have diversity with hair, culture, clothing styles, literally anything and they could actually fit in and not have to do anything to fit in,” Pollock said. “I wanted that on campus.”