New Orleans -- Friday nights are about the entire student experience and at Dominican High School, the Debs have been adding to that experience for 50 years.
"The Debs are ambassadors and a dance team for Dominican High School," said Dominican Debs Coach Fran Moran. "We dance at many things at Dominican: prep rallies, volleyball games, basketball games. We've even done soccer games. We march in parades with our bands. We also dance with the Brother Martin High School band."
The Debs were first formed in 1965 as a flag line and baton twirlers.
"Our matriarch, Mrs. Carmen Gaudet, was a Golden Girl," Moran continued. "She decided that a dance team was the more popular way to go. In 1969, she transformed them into a dance team."
"We put a lot into what we do," said Debs co-captain Eliza Miller. "We make sure that especially that everyone is doing the same thing at the same time. If there is a special part, it is your special part. And, just that we are all doing it as a team and not individually because it, first of all, looks better and it feels better when you are doing it."
"People don't realize how much strength and how much your muscles need to be conditioned for this," said Debs Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Riley Macicek. "It's a lot of hard work and stamina. And, to be dancing for two minutes you need that."
"We do consider our dance team a sport," Moran said. "And the school recognizes them as athletes. They are in athletic PE with the other sports. They do a lot of the different skill and strength testing that the other sports do and they keep a depth chart. We are happy to say that the Debs the last year had the top of the depth chart. We are a year-round program. We kind of break up our year into seasons. In the fall we are in football season. After that we immediately go into competition mode and start working on our state competition and national competition routines. After that we jump right into parade season. Then we have our end of the year review. They get a week off and we start preparing for camp in June."
"If you make a commitment to be a Deb you know it's a huge commitment," said Debs moderator Sina Baldwin. "You know you are going to have to make sacrifices. You're not going to be able to probably go to a football game with your friends because we will be dancing for Brother Martin."
"I think I wanted to be Deb because I have always watched them at competitions," Miller said. "Any time they have an event or something they were dancing at I wasn't only watching their skills and how well they dance and how they left an impression on everyone, but how much support and love came from the team members as they were watching the other team members perform."
"I definitely know I was that little girl that was always looking up to the Debs," Macicek said. "'Oh my gosh. That's the Debs!' And I hope that I can leave that impression for younger kids."