Video courtesy the 610 Stompers Channel on YouTube.com
See the 610 Stompers in New York!
Video courtesy christoz77 on YouTube
article submitted by Cheron Brylski
There is a group of 85 men (doctors, lawyers, businessmen,etc) who
formed a dance group shortly after the New Orleans Saints football
team won the Superbowl in 2009. They are a huge sensation in New
Orleans and dance in Mardi Gras parades, at other events and raise
money for charity. Their motto–“Extraordinary Moves by Ordinary Men”
is on billboards and places all over the city. They have become a
phenomena with a huge following. And are great fun. They usually
parade with a keg but, Macy’s told them to leave their keg at
Out of the blue, they have been invited to participate in the Macy’s
Thanksgiving Parade this year. They are serious about their dancing
(although their costumes are funky/ cool) and practice every Wed.
night at a local bar. So, the Thanksgiving parade goers are in for a
treat-something they have not seen before. They also grow mustaches
Their web site is: www.610Stompers.com take a minute to check it
out. New Orleans is in love with them.
They’ve been called legendary; they’ve been called brave. Quite
frankly, I call them brilliant – and insanely entertaining. Heroes
come in all forms – some wear capes, others wear coach’s
shorts. Donning their red, white, and blue, these men march across
New Orleans – heads held high. They are the 610 Stompers.
If you’re lucky you can see them on the streets of New Orleans, on
local billboards, performing at a sports event, or even using their
skilled moves to support your favorite charity. You may notice them
by a glimmer of red satin in the sunshine or simply by their
intricately groomed mustaches. For anyone who has seen these men in
uniform, they’re easy to pick out of a crowd. But, how did these
seemingly overnight sensations come to be? How did these ordinary
men, make the entire city of New Orleans fans of their extraordinary
moves? I had the honor of sitting down with eight of the board
members to dig down and see what the 610 Stompers are all about and
learn exactly how these men came to grace us with their signature
The plan all started one quiet January day in 2009. One of the
founders, Brett Patron, found himself gathered with friends and
family discussing the upswing of all female dance groups in the city.
Growing up in New Orleans he was accustomed to Mardi Gras Parades
laden with all-girl dance squads like the Gold Dusters and the Dance
Connection. They are a known staple in parades with their flashy
uniforms and base thumping music, but the man affectionately known as
“SLAB” made a decision that day that would change the way New Orleans
– and soon the world – would see dance squads.
After a little friendly, competitive banter and a few ideas later,
Brett knew his calling. The next morning, much to his wife’s
surprise, he woke up and started making some phone calls. After a few
rings to some friends and family that were quickly followed with,
Are you serious??, the men decided to give it their best shot.
Brett walked over to local business owner David Toso’s office and
said, “Dave. I’m starting an all male dance team and we’re going to
wear coach’s shorts and wife beaters.” Dave quickly replied, “Count
me in.” Mark LaForet admitted, “You had me at coach’s shorts.” One
after another the men agreed to help make this dream become a
reality. After allowing the idea to brew in their minds for a few
months, Mardi Gras came and the urge to dance called to these men
even more. The sense of competition wrestled in their legs and they
became more determined to dance than ever. They knew this is
something they had to do. They just didn?t exactly know how to get it
going. After all, they only had a handful of guys and that wasn’t
enough to make the kind of impact they were looking for.
Low and behold, the breakthrough they needed came with the Jazz Fest
Triathlon of 2009, where they saw a gathering of like minds and
spirits and knew that this was prime hunting grounds to find their
fellow Stompers. For those men who made it to the finish line, they
were greeted with the option to place their name and contact
information on a sign-up sheet of yellow notebook paper – a paper
that would forever change their lives.
Tryouts began and selections were made. Their goals were simple:
dance and have fun doing it. All they needed was 15…and they got
44. Over the course of a weekend, the men were taught a routine and
danced their hearts out. The next year would be a whirlwind for these
men and the turnout increased in subsequent auditions. This dream was
going to happen. They formed a committee and intricately designed
their uniforms to ensure that they made accommodations for both hot
and cold weather, physical prowess, and modesty. After all, with an
all male dance crew, you must always remember crowd control. So, in
the end, they wound up with their signature white tank tops, blue
coaches shorts, red satin jackets, gold tennis shoes, tube socks, and
the never-optional sweatband.
Their first official performance was in the Buddy D Superbowl Parade,
where nerves and tensions were high. Sure, they enjoyed themselves
practicing, but now this was real. How would the public perceive the
610 Stompers? With all butterflies and concerns aside, they pulled up
their socks and put on their jackets. It was time to man-up and
dance. Kevin Monahan reflected on their debut, “We were nervous, but
thankfully, we were completely surrounded by men in red dresses. We
were definitely the most butch ones there!” The crowd screamed and
cheered for the men and the 610 Stompers realized their journey had
Word got out fast about these men and their moves. Calls were being
made on their behalf and requests for their performance grew. They
danced a victory dance for Coach Sean Payton and the Saints at the
Lombardi Gras Parade, performed at numerous Hornets games, and their
skills have even been called upon to be featured on the Tonight Show.
Well, now they’re headed back to national television where 56 of
their 65 members will perform for over 44 million people and have
been given a guaranteed slot on television for the 85th Annual Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day Parade. They are slotted to perform between 11:20 & 11:30 EST.
This is a performance you do not want to miss!
They’re packing their sprinklers, their shopping carts, and are even going armed
with some originals like the “Stinky Elephant”, “Robotic
Fence”, “Possible Snakebite”, and a new move entitled the “Miyagi-Do
Karate Series”. Flying in uniform, these men are sure to make an
impression and spread the stomping fever far and wide.
What makes these men so special is not only their uncanny ability to
entertain crowds, but also the motivation behind the uniforms. What
started as a plan to start an all male dance school to help pay for
their Saints season tickets in their namesake section 610, has turned
into an incredible medium to have fun while help others. Underneath
those mustaches of manliness lie men with hearts larger than most.
Since their formation in 2009, the 610 Stompers have raised and
donated over $100,000 to charity. They were asked to be this year’s
“Corporate Chair” of the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and
Lymphoma Society of Louisiana and Mississippi, released a Stomp Out
Breast Cancer video with Touro Infirmary, and have partnered with
over 13 local and national foundations where their dance moves have
helped those less fortunate. They have mastered having fun with
making a difference.