Accompanied by pictures by photographer Alice Mann, a South African based in London.
The article spoke of the appeal of the sport to girls of all backgrounds, and noted the transformation of a girl once she put on her uniform and boots, and performed the routine.
Mann won last year’s Taylor Wessing Prize for her evocative portraits of girls in squads across the Western Cape, and shone a spotlight on the sport. Many schools and clubs - some well known and others less so - form part of the South African Majorette and Cheerleading Association, a South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) recognised federation.
Pretoria too is home to a number of drum majorette squads, with the Northern Stars a private club situated in the north of the city, and open to girls from across the city in any grade in school.
Last year, the junior team was enrolled in the Gauteng provisional league competition, and placed third, qualifying to compete in the national championships where they placed fourth overall.
Last year South Africa hosted the World Majorettes Championships in Cape Town and Northern Stars’ large drill leader, Anke du Preez, received gold while small drill leader Minette Vorster took silver.
This year the Northern Stars majorettes have a senior team in the GMCA Gauteng Presidents League, and while some are watching the Presidential Inauguration, the girls and their parents will be at the provincial finals.
According to the organisers, joining majorettes gives girls the opportunity to participate and train, to form friendships, build confidence, improve concentration and enjoy the benefits of teamwork and competition.
The team practice venue is the Sinoville Cricket Club, 191 Matlabas Avenue, Sinoville, with sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 7.30pm. The Nationals will be held in East London in June.