The Texas State Strutters, the premier dance team of Texas State University, have a rich history that has spanned over six decades since its foundation in 1960. Renowned as the first dance team ever established at a major university campus in Texas, the Strutters have achieved milestones that are unparalleled.
Pioneering the Way
Founded by the legendary Mrs. Barbara Guinn Tidwell in 1960, the Strutters instantly captured the spotlight. Their establishment was groundbreaking, marking them as the first precision dance team at a four-year university. The team now stands as the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Strutters’ impressive track record includes performances in over 26 countries across four continents. One of their remarkable achievements was being the first U.S. dance team to perform in the People’s Republic of China. Their repertoire also includes appearances at three Presidential Inaugural Parades, numerous performances at NFL & NBA halftime shows, and stellar acts at major events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Cinematic and Television Appearances
Their star-studded performances haven’t been limited to the stage alone. They have been featured in five movies, commercials for big brands like Coca-Cola, and even showcased their talent on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Legacy of Leaders
The legacy initiated by Mrs. Tidwell has been carried on by a succession of talented leaders. Mrs. Tidwell’s 37-year tenure was succeeded by former Strutter Captains like Mrs. Susan Angell-Gonzalez and Tammy Fife, leading up to the present-day director, another ex-Strutter, Selina Flores.
More Than Just Dance
However, their legacy isn’t just about dance. The organization also places a significant emphasis on personal development. They foster communication skills, character, and confidence in young women. Through annual camps and competitions, Strutters serve as role models to high school dance team members, spreading their influence across Texas and even as far as Hawaii.
A Deep-rooted Alumni Network
The Strutters have a thriving alumni network, “Strutters Always,” which facilitates communication between past members while also supporting the present Strutter organization.
Remembering Barbara Guinn Tidwell
Mrs. Barbara Tidwell’s passing in May 2022 marked the end of an era. However, her memory and legacy live on through every performance, every formation, and every “Strutter Yell.” Her vision and dedication have imprinted an indelible mark not just on Texas State University but on the entire world of dance. She is remembered for her innovative spirit, resilience, and the exemplary standard she set for generations of Strutters.
This year, the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade will be illuminated by their presence. As a showcase of various talents, the parade offers a unique platform for groups like the Strutters to captivate a wider audience. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to their artistry, the parade promises an unforgettable spectacle. The emphasis is clear: you won’t want to miss the Texas State University Strutters as they take the stage, or in this case, State Street in Chicago.