Prancing Elites is a group of young, gay, black men.
But they are much more than that. The group practices J-Setting, a form of dance that originated at HBCUs, characterized by cheerleading movements and with a hip-hop influence, performed within a tightly-choreographed routine.
Following tradition, men are not allowed to join college dance teams, which led them to form their own group and create outlets for practice.
The Prancing Elites was founded in 2004 in Mobile, Alabama. They perform a variation of J-Setting.
All five of its current members are gay, African-American men, and one identifies as a transgender woman. Their video to promote their new show on Oxygen went viral and proved how incredible it was that such a group could prosper in the South. And now they are finally getting their long overdue celebrity status as they head for reality TV.
Their new show, which may soon transform them into a national-wide sensation, tells the unadulterated story of The Prancing Elite. It will show the five best friends overcoming the many pitfalls that lead to stardom. It is also an attempt to break down the stereotypes and all the barriers that have been put in their path towards success.
Kentrell Collins, the team captain, says that the attention they are getting now is both eye-opening as well as disheartening, but he is happy that people finally cannot ignore, nor deny their talent.
The new series is a huge opportunity for them to connect with people who feel let down and have been marginalized. It is a chance for them to be an inspiration for many.
People have embraced them for what they are and what they do. And for now, the response has been amazingly positive, and the supportive reaction will hopefully continue as their star rises.
But not everyone is in agreement with what they’ve been seeing in media. Some believe that this show, along with shows like “Empire” are part of a broader agenda to make black men more feminine in the public eye. The long list of black males in Hollywood asked to wear dresses on-screen has disturbed some observers, because there aren’t nearly as many white men asked to do the same thing.
Maria Lloyd, writing for BlackBlueDog.com, says that there very well could be an agenda to promote these images of black males over others. Quoting Francis Cress-Welsing, Lloyd wrote this:
“The system of racism wants to turn Black men into women…because then they will not have an opponent and not have to fear white genetic annihilation because the man has become a woman…”
Watch the trailer below.