January 17, 2017
By Nancy George
DALLAS (SMU) – SMU's country-western dance team will perform at the 2017 Black Tie and Boots Presidential Inaugural Ball Jan. 19 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the nation’s capitol. They can expect a big audience: to date the hosting Texas State Society of Washington, D.C., has sold 10,000 tickets to its10th bipartisan inaugural ball.
"We were honored to accept the invitation," which arrived weeks before the 2016 presidential election, says Mustang Mavericks team captain Sara Jendrusch, an English and corporate communications major. "It's a great opportunity to represent SMU on a national stage."
Formed in 2008, the Mustang Mavericks have performed at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers games, at Billy Bob's Texas and at area elementary schools, but this is the team's first invitation to an inaugural ball.
Eleven team members returned to the SMU campus early from winter break to prepare for the performance with two-a-day practices to perfect stunts such as the jackknife," the “tower” and the “split” jumps and to learn new choreography. The Mavericks will perform to Jason Aldean's "She's Country," Brantley Gilbert's "Small Town Throwdown" and Rodney Atkins' "It's America." New costumes will sport SMU colors and custom SMU boots.
Members of the team represent a variety of SMU majors, including engineering, political science, finance and English. In addition, team members are recipients of SMU's top academic honors, including serving as President's Scholars, Dedman Scholars, Lyle Scholars, Tower Scholars, Richter Scholars, BBA Scholars and Pre-Law Scholars.
"Preparing for this trip has been a learning experience for students," says team advisor Mickey Saloma, an assistant dean in SMU's Lyle School of Engineering who will accompany the team to Washington. "We are creating a legacy, we hope this is the beginning of a tradition."
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