Homecoming at a historically black college and university (HBCU) is far more than a football game. It is more of a weeklong celebration, which includes a number of fun-filled events. But one thing you would be hard-pressed to miss is the majestic majorettes and how these female dancers shine on the field. Their costumes are often decked out with shimmering sequin and fantastic fringe details, and this year one lucky squad will be getting a makeover thanks to a fashion designer to the stars who’s ready to give back in a major way.
Clark Atlanta University alum Brea Stinson has worked with big-name entertainers such as Beyoncé and Rita Ora, and now she is bringing her talents to the collegiate scene by partnering with Tampax, the Always Radiant Collection, and the HBCU Dance Corporation to host the #RadiantDanceOff. This national dance competition is exclusively open to HBCU dance teams, and the winning majorettes will be awarded custom uniform designs by Stinson as well as $25,000 to cover team expenses.
A survey conducted by Tampax and the Always Radiant Collection revealed that four in five African-American women avoid wearing certain types of clothing during menstruation for fear of leakage. “This discovery is alarming. To know that the vast majority of women are feeling this level of discomfort is sad, and we wanted to do something about it,” says Stinson on her recent partnership with the brand.
One can only imagine how scary it can be for an HBCU majorette during homecoming to have to worry about “that time of the month” cramping her style. Stinson wants to help combat this fear and encourage women to feel and dance confidently. “In all of my designs, I like to consider the goal, the client’s personality, and their personal style, while also providing functionality. I’ve learned through the years that comfortable fashion — or costumes — equals confidence!”
Stinson adds, “Great fit is always the key, comfort and security is a must, and fabric that stretches is ideal for proper function when designing for dancers. The fitted silhouettes complement the movements and provide full body coverage, because no one should ever compromise their personal style for fear of proper coverage.”
As a graduate of an HBCU, Stinson is organically inspired by majorette dancer costumes, and has already begun sketching together ideas for the chosen winner. She explains, “I’m inspired by their fearlessness and dedication to the art of dance, and I know that there is a lot of discipline involved in being a majorette, so these girls deserve to look and feel confident during every performance. HBCU majorette teams already exude ‘Black Girl Magic,’ but the costumes that they wear only enhance the magic that is already present, and I look forward to contributing to that through the #RadiantDanceOff contest.”
HBCU majorette teams have submitted online videos of their dance teams, and the voting period for the contest will run through Nov. 15. To find out more, visit radiantdanceoff.com.
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