The Cardinal Divas are making waves nationally, appearing on the Jennifer Hudson show on September 27 for an interview and performance in the show’s audience seats.
The Cardinal Divas, USC’s first majorette team, made their debut at the September 17 Fresno State game in the stands of the Coliseum. A video of them went viral on social media, attracting attention beyond the buzz of South L.A. Just five days after their first performance, they were invited to perform on “The Jennifer Hudson Show.”
The Cardinal Divas went to tape the show on September 22, according to team captain Princess Lang.
Up next for the Cardinal Divas is “being on the field with halftime performances along with the USC band,” Lang said.
Lang is still trying to establish meetings to find the “right person” to arrange for the majorette team to get on the football field and “pave the way for this dance team in a positive way.” Lang is having preliminary discussions with athletic directors to try and accomplish this.
Their TV appearance comes weeks after the Cardinal Divas’ presence at a predominantly white institution sparked national controversy, especially among alumni and students of HBCUs. Lang’s viral tweet announcing the team’s first performance has over 100 thousand likes and 1,500 comments and countless quote tweets. Reactions vary from celebratory encouragement to disapproval. Some users claim majorette dancing or “j-setting/ drill teams” belong to HBCU students. Others are excited about the team’s creation.
Under the Cardinal Diva’s post announcing their tryouts earlier this fall, one user commented, “Wish my PWI had this. …They’re about to start a revolution.”
In an interview with Annenberg Media, Lang said that the mission of the team is to “open a Black space at a PWI… [and] show the university that there is a community for Black dancers at SC to support one another and to believe in one another.”
In response to the controversy, Lang said, “Majorette has always been in our dance history and who we have become as dancers. …I am doing this for the community, and I’m doing this to be able to bring our Black magic on an even greater scale.”
Despite the backlash, Lang is continuing to stand her ground.
“I appreciate all of my fellow Black brothers and sisters that are at HBCUs and doing their thing, and I absolutely love it for them… for the students that go here, it wasn’t in God’s plan for us to go that route [to an HBCU], and that’s totally fine. But dance is our culture, and we have the right to be able to share our culture and be able to be proud of our culture in all aspects and in all areas,” Lang said.
Outside of the controversy, the Cardinal Divas are continuing to train and are expected to perform in the stands of the Coliseum at the game against Arizona State on October 1.