Inaugural parade offers experience of a lifetime for High Hats,Drumline

Inaugural+parade+offers+experience+of+a+lifetime+for+High+Hats%2CDrumline

As the High High Hats make their way down Congress Avenue towards the capital, those in attendance at the Governor's Inaugural parade cheer them on with chants of "DUNCANVILLE" (Cynthia Rangel Photo)
As the High High Hats make their way down Congress Avenue towards the capital, those in attendance at the Governor’s Inaugural parade cheer them on with chants of “DUNCANVILLE” (Cynthia Rangel Photo)

After waiting three hours in the scorching hot sun, 74 girls speed walk to their line up positions. Each girl fluffs out her skirt, licks the red lipstick off her teeth and  straightens her hat. It’s almost time for their march to the State Capital.  Palms begin to sweat as the girls hold their pom poms tightly. As time ticks by each girl goes over the routine in place. Poms went here and there, back and forth. In an instant smiles stretch from ear to ear on each face. The Drumline began playing and the High Hats were ready to show their Duncanville pride in the 2015 Governor’s Inaugural Parade down Congress Avenue in Austin.

“The overall experience was FABULOUS!”  High Hat director Kristi Beaty said. “A memory of a lifetime! It’s a huge honor to be representing the Governor’s Alma Mater. I didn’t really grasp it until we were there on Congress Street and I could see the State Capitol in the distance.”

Governor Greg Abbott invited the High Hats and Drumline to celebrate his inauguration by marching in the parade Jan. 20 because he was a 1976 graduate of Duncanville High School.

“Marching in the parade meant we had the chance to take part of  a historical event and represent Duncanville,”  Garrett said.  “I think we all felt very tired and drained after marching in what felt like 90 degree weather.”

Beaty said she felt blessed because of all of the people who worked to make this opportunity possible for her team.

“The girls had to make sure they had all their costumes together and their shoes white to march in this parade,” Beaty said.

The drum line has been playing the traditional cadences for years however, for this special honor, the drum line was tasked with learning a whole new routine.

“I think the group did really well, and the cadence sounded great,”  senior Regan Preston said. “It was definitely an honor to be apart of history.”

The High Hats said they were just as thrilled to try something new.

“When we first heard that the Drumline was going to play a new cadence, the lieutenants were really excited to create new choreography,”  junior lieutenant Deja-An Nevels said.

Drum line director Mark Teal said he was extremely proud of how well the students performed in the parade.

Governor Gregg Abbot's Daughter Audrey snaps a selfie as they ride through Austin during the Inaugural Parade. (Karla Estrada Photo)
Governor Gregg Abbot’s Daughter Audrey snaps a selfie as they ride through Austin during the Inaugural Parade. (Karla Estrada Photo)

“The Inaugural parade however was the most invigorating experience of my life,” Teal said. “As we were traveling down Congress Ave., the crowds on the sidewalks grew larger and their chants of “Go Duncanville!” grew louder. It made the parade easier I know for the drummers.”

Both directors Teal and Beaty say they were proud to see there student excel along with bonding time.

“It is great to see our students interact with one another and with us as teachers,” Teal said. “The pressure of the  classroom and work were shed and we got to know more about the students and their personalities. Anytime this happens a stronger bond is formed and it makes the return to the classroom even more enjoyable.”

Teal said the best part of the experience was knowing they helped Duncanville become a part of history.

“Those students help make our community shine in a positive light,” Teal said. “To be able to walk next to them in a moment that they  and our community will never forget was truly rewarding.”