Every year the Lumberton High School Raiderettes give a performance for the community. This year, the revue was even more special as it honored the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Raiderettes.
The Revue was held at the Lumberton ISD Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 13. It was a dancing through the decades theme. The Raiderettes performed to music and wore costumes that paid tribute to each decade from the last 50 years.
Tricia Milstead, a kindergarten teacher at Early Childhood and a former Raiderette and Raiderette Director, said about the performance, “I absolutely loved it.”
She was a Raiderette beginning in 1988 and remained in the group throughout high school. Her fondest memories are that of the close friendships she made and one really special performance. Milstead said the girls were invited to perform during the half-time show at a San Antonio Spurs game. The Raiderettes chose to entertain the large crowd with their “box” routine; which Milstead said could be dangerous. “It was absolutely amazing to see the stadium packed and when our girls jumped from the top, the audience gasped. They thought she was falling off. The crowd roared; it was amazing,” she said.
Another Raiderette alum, Erica Lux, no longer lives in Lumberton and was unable to attend the show. However, she was keeping up on Facebook with her fellow Raiderettes. Lux said her mother was a Raiderette and she grew up going to dance clinics.
When she was in eighth grade, she tried out and earned a coveted spot on the team until she graduated in 1997. Lux has fond memories of going to officer camp, even though it was strenuous and draining, she said she loved being with her best friends and enjoyed working so hard. One of the life lessons she learned from her time on the dance team is that, “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.” Another life lesson she learned is about integrity. “Doing your best when no one is watching,” she said.
Crystal Dorrell was a proud Raiderette during her freshman and sophomore years at LHS. She has fond memories of that time and says, “I can still smell that wet leather, gauntlets, and boots after a rain shower during practice. I remember how my leather belt felt, cinched up around my waist as tight as I could get it to go. And how could I ever forget the red lipstick! I love those memories. They are memories I share with some amazing ladies.”
The Raiderettes Co-Director, Janiece Lewis said, “The Revue is our biggest fundraiser and it takes months of hard work to get Revue ready. The girls practiced tirelessly, and I believe it was worth it! We had a lot of alumni present which meant a lot to our organization.”
Not only did this year’s performance honor the upcoming 50th anniversary; many honored a former Raiderette who was killed by a drunk driver years ago. Former Raiderettes who were attending the show were asked to wear purple ribbons to honor Alyssa Patterson-Holtzclaw.
As these ladies gathered together to share memories and enjoy the show, they still have one thing in common; “Once a Raiderette, always a Raiderette.”