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Meet the 'Pelikids'

Photo by Staff
Monday, November 11, 2013 - 7:51pm

Meet the "Pelikids."  It is the Pelican dance team just for kids 7-12. 

But before they get out onto the court, they have to start in rehearsals.  More than 80 kids were whittled down to about 20; then it is practice, practice, practice.

According to 10-year-old pelikid, Laila Harding, "Everybody that tried out is amazing. Not everybody gets to do this and it's really fun."  This is Laila's 5th year on the team.  

Her little sister Taylor, 8, is on the team also. This is her second year. The pair started dancing long before they were pelikids. "When we were little, we started dancing," they said. Their mom, Stacey, says they just never stopped. "...all day, all night. All day, all night," said Stacy.

But if you think this is a family thing, think again. When asked if she was a dancer, Stacey said she "never was a dancer. Never. Zero years of dancing."

For Stacey, this is about more than just dancing.  "[It] makes me feel great that they can stand on their own," she said.  "They're independent and they want it."

When asked if it makes them closer as sisters, she replied with a laugh, "No way! Yes, but no way." "One thing I will say is they do not compete against each other."

The girls agree with mom on that one. "We work together and we put effort into everything we do," they said.  They also practice together off the court.  "When you work together, you're making stuff more better and perfect," said Taylor.  

So when that first quarter wraps up, the teams leave center court, and the kids take center stage. With dance uniforms on and a hug from mom, it's time to work out those last minute jitters.

Laila says she gets excited.  "I talk to myself in my head saying that I'm going to do good."  Her sister Taylor has a different approach.  "I just don't think of nothing.  I just think of beautiful things and my face. That's it."

When asked what their favorite part is, they exclaimed, "the last pose."  "It's 100% fun out there," said Taylor. At the end of their dance, three words come to mind for Laila.  "I did it."

See the Pelikids perform at the New Orleans Arena November 22 when the Pelicans play against Cleveland.

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