The Pussyfooters, a spectacular gathering of impressive women over 30, is best known for dancing in parades dressed in burlesque-ish pink and orange figure-enhancing confections. The organization also holds an annual Blush Ball to raise money for various causes benefitting women, children and the community. This year’s “Party with a Purpose” raised $30,000 for the Metropolitan Center for Women & Children (Metro). Metro strives to “break the cycle of violence and aid survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, intervention, empowerment and transformation.”
After over 100 Pussyfooters – decked out in our brand new uniforms – paraded into The Cannery‘s ballroom and filled the floor to debut a new dance. Later, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Wild Magnolias with Bo Dollis, Jr. played old favorites like Li’l Liza Jane and we all sang along to my favorite Mardi Gras Indian song, Indian Red. It’s funny the things you come to take for granted after living here a while. I have the good sense to always be dazzled by the feathered and beaded magnificence of every Mardi Gras Indian suit I see, but I forget sometimes that it’s unusual to see a band wearing cumbersome and dazzling artwork.
A few of the Pussyfooters changed outfits for a special dance routine before Big Sam’s Funky Nation took the stage. Big Sam and the band had the room dancing nonstop. He busted out a few of his dance moves and the women all sqealed. It was a great show.
But the best show of the night was the crowd of people who came to “party with a purpose.” Though I’ve attended premieres and award shows, I’ve only been to one other Ball when I attended the Endymion Extravaganza in 2011. The men wore tuxedos with colorful Mardi Gras flourishes and the women wore gowns (mostly old gowns they were willing to sacrifice to a 7 hour party). I figured we Pussyfooters would stand out as a pink army of hostesses – but no. Nearly everyone attending took the opportunity to wear something pink, something fabulous or something funny – sometimes all 3. I spotted an Egyptian god and goddess, a flock of butterflies and Batman, just to name a few.
We also had visitors from other dance groups. Members of the fun and fabulous Disco Amigos came in full silver regalia and the brand new Oui Dats volunteered to help sell raffle tickets. Only 5 strong so far, the Oui Dats wear adorable but regal Marie Antoinette-like costumes with high powdered wigs atop masked faces. If their enthusiasm and attention to costume deatil are any indication, this group will parading and growing in numbers in now time. Maybe one day I’ll attend one of their Balls.
Like with almost everything since I first met the Pussyfooters at the Royal Sonesta’s Greasing of the Poles last year, I had no idea what to expect at the Blush Ball. I’m thrilled to say it was a great party with fantastic live music and DJ’s both inside and out. Actually, the outdoor patio was a wonderful spot. People ate from the food trucks provided by the Empanada Intifada and the Fat Falafel (the platter was fresh and yummy) while listening to Henry Griffin spinning 80’s funk on vinyl. Henry is a screenwriter/filmmaker and a professor and Artist in Residence at UNO, but he is best known for his role as “Davis'” friend on HBO’s Treme.
As I said before, my favorite part was the spirited and generous people who costumed up and came out to play. Lots of money was raised, over 150 raffle items were won as well as silent auction items including a Miro lithograph – and a great time was had by all. Now, I get what they mean by, “We had a Ball!”