Bearden seniors selected for UT’s majorette line


Bearden seniors Anastasia Mitchell (left) and Brittany Collins (right) were all smiles after finding out they were selected for next year’s majorette line.

Mackenzie Lee, Staff Writer

Three and seven.

They had never been so excited to hear those two numbers spoken. They had made it.

On March 28, Bearden seniors Anastasia Mitchell and Brittany Collins officially joined the ranks of UT’s majorette line – the first Bearden students to do so in decades. After years of hard work and dedication, their dreams finally came true.

When audition day arrived, the pair could feel their nerves rising beforehand, but by the time of the audition, their nerves had mostly subsided. They had been practicing and preparing for months. They were ready. Nerves retreated and made way for excitement as the audition process began.

Upon arrival, numbers were drawn and music was tested. After the initial logistics of auditions, each girl marched what is called a “basic strut” in a large box.

Following the basics, the girls learned a group routine along with “the bird”, a term given to the marching style of UT majorettes. After mastering “the bird”, they were expected to display their ability to march eight to five, a marching technique taught to them by the Bearden Band involving taking eight steps in a five yard area.

Next came the fun part—individual routines. For this portion, each girl was able to choose her own music and perform her own routine. Then came the group routine and callbacks if necessary, followed by the announcement of who made the cut.

When they heard their numbers called, Mitchell and Collins were both excited and relieved that they both made it.

“I just broke down crying because I was so happy I had achieved my dream,” Mitchell said.

After the tears of joy and initial excitement had subsided a bit, the new line had a meeting, followed by lunch at Calhoun’s on the River. This was the first outing of many to come as a majorette line family.

“[I’m most looking forward to] getting to have an automatic friend group—the band and other majorettes on the line—that I know I will result in lifelong friendships,” Mitchell said.

One of these lifelong friendships has already begun with Mitchell and Collins as they worked together and supported one another during the process.

“We prayed together, practiced together, and just got to share the all over experience, which was awesome,” Collins said.

Along with their practice and support for one another, their participation in the Bearden Band program played a large part in their preparation for auditions.

“The stress of performance was not so bad because I performed so many times with the band over the four years I was in marching band,” Mitchell said. “It also looked good on the resume we had to submit prior to tryouts.”

Aside from providing performance experience, working with a band the size of Bearden’s also helped prepare Mitchell and Collins for the size of the Pride of the Southland, UT’s marching band.

“The practices helped and being in a big band helped,” Collins said. “I know it’s nothing compared to the Pride, but it helped me prepare for the base of what I’ll be going into.”

Bearden Band rehearsals also provided Mitchell and Collins with the opportunity to become accustomed to one another’s rehearsal style.

“I think we have always pushed each other to be better twirlers, and we also know how to make things like band practice, where twirling is not so fun, an enjoyable time because we are so goofy together,” Mitchell said. “I think this definitely made us have a positive outlook on band overall and made us want to continue our twirling experience in college.”

Thanks to their inspiration for one another and the preparation of the Bearden Band, and with high school band and the audition process behind them, Mitchell and Collins look forward to pursuing their dreams on majorette line and inspiring younger girls in the same positions they were once in.

“[I’m excited about] getting to be a role model to all the girls that hope to be in this position one day,” Collins said.