Listen to Song Girls share favorite memories, and a sense of magic resonates. Most of the original Song Girls came together in the late s for their first reunion. It may be hard to imagine, but the dance team was assembled in solely to boost basketball attendance.
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To date, there are alumni members. There were seven Song Girls in the original squad.
The squad travels around the world and makes about 27 appearances outside of athletic events each year, including philanthropy and charity events, magazine shoots, dance clinics and weddings. Even returning members must go through the intensive audition process. Professionalism and character were the watchwords for Bothwell, who was the volunteer coach of the Song Girls and Yell Leaders for 60 years and also co-founded the Trojan Knights.
By the s the Song Girls, also called Song Leaders, were firmly entrenched in football game-day rituals. Photo courtesy of University Archives. Each year, close to dancers vie for six to 11 positions on the squad.
An @latimes investigation: ten former usc song girls detailed to the times a toxic culture within the prestigious dance team that included former coach lori nelson rebuking women for their eating habits, personal appearance, and sex lives
Other sports get Song Girl love, too. Since then, Song Girls have inspired stadium crowds, not to mention generations of little girls. Before Tommy and Traveler, there was Tirebiter. The Song Girls remain a fixture at pep rallies.
Following a showcase for leaps, fouettes, leg holds and high kicks, hopefuls perform the Fight Song and a jazz routine. The Song Girls shattered tradition when they took to the football field for the first time. The emphasis is on dance choreography, personality and presence.
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Contenders making it to the final cut then present a one-minute choreographed solo. The wardrobe was a white turtleneck sweater emblazoned with a megaphone and matching skirt trimmed in cardinal and gold. Coach Lindley Bothwell adopted the look, which debuted in Typically, Song Girls have as many as three custom-made uniforms.
Well, maybe that should be Tirebiters…. Song Girls have three-hour practices five days a week and perform more than 42 dance routines each year. In a closed-to-the-public audition process, preliminaries include personal interviews and talent auditions.
On game days, squad members are ready by 8 a. Well, maybe that should be Tirebiters… Most of the original Song Girls came together in the late s for their first reunion.
Schedules permitting, the team is also on deck at baseball, volleyball, lacrosse, water polo and soccer competitions.