The all-female band embraces self-expression through sweet dance moves

BATON ROUGE – Parades are packed with a variety of marching groups, floats and krewes. A local dance krewe has dance moves as sweet as its name.

Baton Rouge native Ellen Tadman joined the Beign “Yays” five years ago.

“As soon as I heard about it, I said, ‘yes, I want to be in there,'” Tadman said. “I love to dance, so I’m into it.”

The group has given her a fun opportunity to do what she loves.

“I’ve been a dancer all my life since I started dance lessons at the age of three,” she said. “I loved learning the dances.”

Now she’s learning dances with the Beign Yays because the streets of Baton Rouge are her stage.

“With the Beign Yays, in the parade format, it’s the ability to interact with the crowd,” Tadman said. “It’s a wonderful experience to know that people are celebrating you and what you look like.”

One of the band’s main goals is to celebrate their look.

“I really wanted to create a space where women could come and express themselves,” Beign Yays founder Jessica Newsom said.

She thought Mardi Gras would be the perfect time for the women’s group to speak out.

“As long as you’re wearing our teal and gold, you can wear whatever fits your body type and goes with those colors,” Newsom said.

Most of the group members have already danced in costumes.

“I think most of our dancers have had some kind of little experience with dance,” she said.

But, you don’t need to spend a childhood dancing to participate in the sweetness.

“You don’t necessarily need to have formal dance or training experience,” Newsom said. “Dancing is a great way to express yourself, so we all look different.”

The Beign Yays hold annual additions due to its growing popularity in the city.

“Right now we’re a group of about 50,” Newsom said. “We are auditioning for the few spots we have.”

They plan to hold auditions for open spots in the summer of 2022.

As the Beign Yays just wrapped up their Mard Gras season on Friday night at the Krewe of Southdowns Parade, you can catch them dancing again for the upcoming holiday parades.