A new majorette troupe in Stowmarket is aiming for the stars, but its first pit-stop is performing at the town’s carnival.
Ali Huggins, leader, was inspired to start the Stowmarket Stars Majorette Troupe after watching last summer’s Stowmarket Carnival.
“I have wanted to start a troupe for a long time, but the catalyst was seeing the carnival last year. There was only one troupe from Ipswich there and I just thought it was so sad and that we need our own troupe in Stowmarket to represent us in our own carnival. It has been on my mind since then.”
Ali was a majorette from an early age, joining an older sister at her training sessions.
She said: “I used to copy them all and run around learning all the routines. Then one day they were short of a majorette and I got my moment to shine and performed at a fete. I had no shoes to wear so I went out in knee-high socks and marched around. That was when I was probably about four. After that, I was a majorette for years.”
Following a 20-year break from the sport, Ali said picking up a baton again had felt like ‘riding a bike’.
“You never forget how to twirl,” she said.
Ten children attended the first session, but Ali said she hoped the troupe would now grow and build.
“I’ve had quite a lot of interest so it’s looking promising,” she said.
“We’ve got a place to perform at Stowmarket Carnival and we’ve been asked to perform at a fete.”
Stowmarket Town Council gave the troupe a boost by pledging £500 for equipment, while Ali said county councillor Nick Gowrley had also promised locality funding.
“It’s amazing that the councillors have got behind us. I’ll be spending any funding on equipment, as I want to make the group as accessible to all families as possible. With the help of funding it means I can pass discounts on to the parents,” added Ali.
There is a small charge to take part to help cover hall hire costs, with the cost going down if more members join.
The troupe teaches traditional dancing with batons, wheels, flags and pompoms. Training is every Tuesday 4-5pm at Stowmarket Community Centre, on Hillside.
To sign up your children (ages four-eight welcome), contact Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Stowmarket Stars Majorette Troupe Facebook page.