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POV: You’re a Majorette at the FSU Season Opener

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

This football season opener was a little unusual for the Marching Chiefs in terms of preparing for the game. Since the game was in Orlando, we knew things would look a little different; a shorter pregame and shorter halftime are part of sharing the field with another band. What no one could have predicted was only getting just a few practices in before performing. 

Hurricane Idalia closed campus the first week of school. This was supposed to be our time to perfect our pregame and halftime performances. Seven rehearsals were cut down to four: one normal Monday rehearsal, one mega rehearsal on Friday in the Indoor Practice Field, one Saturday morning before we loaded the buses to Orlando, and one Sunday morning before the game. This did not feel like enough time to perfect the performances, but we did it. 

The hurricane also forced the Majorettes to get creative when it came to finishing our uniforms. This game in Orlando was the debut of our new black two-piece costumes. The only problem was the rhinestones hadn’t been put on the uniforms. After checking into the hotel on Saturday, we set up camp in the lobby ready to stone. Three hours, four pizzas, and lots of gluing later, our skirts and tops were ready to shine under the Camping World Stadium lights. 

Sunday morning, everyone got up and got ready for rehearsal. Normally, this would be a time just to get ourselves into a game mindset. The lack of normal rehearsal time during the week meant this practice was crucial to our success. We practiced at a local Orlando high school that’s open to the public, so people were getting to see our show for the first time. Even though it was a very informal experience, it still felt special to share what we’d been working on for the first time. 

After rehearsal, it was back to the hotel to get ready for the game. While we were getting ready, we were also packing our stuff to check out of the hotel. Once the game was over, it’d be back to Tallahassee for the Marching Chiefs. 

We got to eat lunch and roam around the Florida Mall before heading to the stadium. Thankfully the mall had a lot of food options, because 423 hungry band kids are like a small army taking over the place. The mall also had an F1 store and as a fan, I had to stop and visit! 

It was a short ride to the stadium, where we unloaded the buses and prepared to march in. Marching in really makes the game-day nerves set in because, after that moment, it’s all business. 

The gates of the stadium did not open to the general public until after both marching bands got settled under the bleachers. This made it easier to not get lost on the way to our seats, and we also didn’t have to wait in line to use the bathroom. We mostly used this time to take pictures and goof around before we had to sit in our seats in the stands. 

We were operating as the home team for this game, so we got to do our pregame performance second. A Majorette tradition is to do a pressure circle before we perform. This is your chance to get all your nerves out and get a few good catches in before you have to do the tricks for real. We were right by the stands warming up, so crowd interaction became a part of this game’s pressure circle. 

We watched the Tiger Band from the end zone and waited for our cue to take the field.  It was just like being in Doak Campbell Stadium and hearing all the fans sing the fight song with us. This was our first pregame performance as a team, and I can’t even begin to describe how special the feeling is. 

We got to watch the first quarter, but the second quarter was our warmup time. We found a large space under the bleachers to stand and get all our performance nerves out. At home, we have a fenced-off area to practice, but in Orlando, we were out in the open. In between warm-ups, we had to stop and take a few pictures with the people walking by. We don’t mind; we love taking pictures with Seminole fans. If you ever see us walking around at a game, feel free to stop us! 

Before halftime, we stood on the sidelines for a while waiting for the quarter to end. We had to be right against the walls so we didn’t get in the way of the camera crews. The Tiger Band was performing first so it got pretty crowded on the sidelines. We had plenty of time to make friends with the Tiger Band though! 

Since we were in Orlando, our show theme was Disney Friends. Performing to classic songs with some of my best friends is a memory I’ll never forget, especially considering I performed my routines with zero drops! The rest of the game was great too. We started our season with a win!

The game ended around 11 p.m., but it was after midnight before we left the parking lot. Our bus was made up of Majorettes and Color Guard, so the moment we loaded, everyone was changing clothes. No one wanted to ride four hours back to Tallahassee in their costumes! After changing, everyone settled in with their Firehouse sandwiches and snuggled into their seats hoping to sleep a little on the ride. 

We got back to Tallahassee at 5 a.m. After walking home and showering, it was about 6:30 a.m. before I crawled into bed. It was a long day, but it was a great day. Sleeping on a bus was not ideal, but we made memories. Having Monday off from school was a welcome break. 

This is my fourth year as a Majorette. It has been a wild ride these last four years, and I’m not ready for it to be over. Mike Norvell always says we are on a climb. Our climb is just getting started, and I can’t wait to see how far we go! 

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Peyton is a senior double majoring in Communications and Editing, Writing, Media. She is a member of the Majorette Line with the Marching Chiefs and she hopes to one day be a sports reporter.