Above is a short documentary that follows the Bama Dance Team and Drumline as they prepare for the Martin Luther King Parade on January 20th 2014. On that day, Tulsa, Oklahoma held the second largest Martin Luther King Day celebration in the country. Over 3,000 people participated in the parade, and 10,000 people came down to the Greenwood district to watch.
50 members of the Bama team participated in the parade in various roles. The teams began to arrive at the hospitality tent at 7:00am. Many of them were very nervous. The corporate dance competition–the competition they had been practicing for for over three months–was about to take place.
At 8:00am, they got in position to begin their routine. The music started, which was mixed by team leader Monroe Padillow, and they let loose. The judges were very impressed with their routine, and loved that at the end of the dance three team members’ had their hands up with gloves on that read “Free at Last!”
Back in the tent, everyone waited for the judges results, but the waiting was made easier by the community dance party that broke out spontaneously. Even Hornsby, the team mascot for Tulsa’s minor league Baseball team The Drillers, was busting out his best moves. Bama’s team was right there stirring up the mix.
“It was a nerve-wracking feeling, knowing all that work was about to come to fruition,” said Monroe. It all ended up being worth it, because the judges announced that Bama won the competition for the second year in a row. Of the twenty members of the dance team, several come off of 12 hours shifts and go straight to practice. Others work the third shift–12am to 6am–and thus miss their nightly sleep to support the team.
“We have fun, sure, but we also keep the larger message in mind. This is all about keeping Martin Luther King’s dream alive, and sowing the seeds of his message to the younger generation,” said Monroe. Bama also has a drumline, which performed in the parade along with twenty five people who volunteered to walk behind the float in the parade.
The Bama Companies is tremendously proud of our team and their dedication to this event and the Tulsa community.