‘A Little Goodwill From Aggieland': Youth Dance Group Among Texas Performers at Trump Inauguration

WASHINGTON -- The Cavalry is coming. And so are the Lil’ Wranglers.Three Texas groups, including an equestrian military unit and two dance teams, will soon head to Washington to perform in the inaugural parade for President-elect Donald Trump.The 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment, a military unit that is based at Fort Hood, will send roughly 20 soldiers to march in the Jan. 20 parade. This is their third presidential inauguration -- the group also performed at inaugural festivities for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.They’ll be joined by the Texas State University Strutters and the Lil’ Wranglers, a College Station-based group that performs country and Western swing dance.“When we heard we’d been selected, it was like -- excitement, shock, and ‘what do we do now?’ ” said Sharon Toups, the Lil’ Wranglers director. “The parents were definitely excited. The kids didn’t understand at first quite what this meant.”The Wranglers, who range in age from eight to 18, have never performed at a presidential inauguration before.“We really thought it was a long shot,” Toups said. “We thought, no way would we get picked.”More than 8,000 performers will be marching in the parade, according to Sara Armstrong, the CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. They “look forward to continuing a salute to our republic that spans more than two centuries,” Armstrong said in a statement.The Texas State University Strutters dance team faced a mixed reaction for agreeing to participate in the inaugural events, which they called a “once in a lifetime performance opportunity.”“It’s unfortunate that you will be displaying your talents for that man,” one commenter wrote on the group’s Instagram announcement. However, she added, “I can’t be angry about people pursuing their dreams.”Other commenters were a bit more direct in their criticism.“Great opportunity, horrible set of morals and ideology on this select platform to stand behind,” another woman wrote. “As a student at TXST, this isn’t something I’m going to be proud of seeing our university’s name behind.”Toups said the Wranglers had avoided any backlash. They weren’t concerned about sending a particular partisan message, she said.“We thought maybe, because this has been such a tense election and time in America, that we thought the country could use a little goodwill from Aggieland,” Toups said. “It’s a lot of fun, what these kids do.”  Continue reading...

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