Muses to feature all-female flambeaux troupe


Posted on February 25, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 8:40 PM

Natalie Shepherd / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- A group of women marching around City Park with brooms isn't something you see every day, but these ladies are getting ready to do something women have never done before.

“But this is the last weekend. We're marching on Thursday,” said Dani Johnson.

The idea came from organizer Johnson while she watched the Muses parade last year.

Men traditionally carry the blazing flambeaux torches that light up Mardi Gras parades.

“And I turned to my friend and I said, Muses is an all-female parade, how come there aren't some fierce ladies out here carrying these flaming torches?” she said.

And so the idea for Glambeaux was born.

The group of 24 women has been practicing behind a decidedly unglamorous maintenance facility for months.

They won't get their heavy torches until parade day, so they've made do with weighted backpacks and brooms wrapped in chains and hand weights.

“I told the girls they needed to practice with something that's going to mimic the weight of the torches as much as they possibly could.”

Johnson has also mandated strength training to make sure everyone completes the five-mile route.

“It’s been hard, it really has been,” she said. “Soreness, but it's been good. As time goes on it gets easier.”

The members of Glambeaux are mixing up this Mardi Gras tradition by adding dance moves. Alethia Gregory helped choreograph the whole routine.

“I think it's just our own way to add a little twist,” she said. “One of the great things about Mardi Gras is that it's always dynamic and every year there's a new tradition.”

They're all excited to make their mark on Mardi Gras and to show how strong women can be.

“In the beginning I think I did have some doubts, can I really do this? And now we've been training and working really hard and now it's feeling like, yes, we definitely can do this.

“We're ready!”

It's traditional to tip flambeaux carries along the parade route. All the tips collected by Glambeaux members will be going to a good cause. They're donating them to the non-profit “Women with Vision." The organization helps marginalized women in our community to improve health and well-being.

The Krewe of Muses rolls Uptown on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.