Editor’s Note: Rangerette and Flare staff writer Dezirae Burnett, Huntington freshman, is in Washington D.C. to perform Jan. 19 in The Black Tie & Boots Presidential Inaugural Ball. The Rangerettes arrived Jan. 16, and are able to tour the capital. THE FLARE will share Burnett’s personal reflections on the trip. Keep up with us on Facebook or Twitter for updates on new entries.
Rangerettes have a ball, get star treatment
By DEZIRAE BURNET
As our bus weaved through the busy streets of D.C., I could practically feel my excitement threatening to brim over. The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center (where the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball is held) was just minutes away and then suddenly we were there.
I stared, with my mouth agape, at the vaulted ceilings of the main lobby. I felt like a princess entering the finest of palaces. The ballrooms were filled with Texas decor: giant cowboy boots, greenery and guitars dominated the floor space of the spacious main ball entrance.
In uniform, the Rangerettes lined the staircases and greeted guests. Cameras flashed in every direction as elegantly dressed women and regal-looking gentlemen each fought for a picture with the young women in the red, white and blue.
Upon our entrance there was a collective gasp from guests all around us and whispers of “it’s the Rangerettes” spread around the room. The first beats of our music rocked through my body and caused a rush of adrenaline to pulse rapidly through my veins.
Taking the floor was a feeling like none other. From the crowd’s reaction, one would have thought that we were Justin Beiber. The applause was thunderous as we exited, a smile more than a mile wide plastered on my face. My next two hours were spent on cloud nine as I glided from ballroom to ballroom taking pictures, meeting people and talking about my life as a ’Rette. I felt like a celebrity straight off a red carpet. If only they had asked for an autograph …
The magical evening was drawing quickly to a close but we had yet another surprise in store for us. Just as we were lining up to leave for our final performance, the one and only Josh Abbott Band rounded the corner and headed straight toward us! Naturally picture taking ensued. It was surely a memorable moment as all 70 women crowded around the few band members, smiling like we had won a million dollars.
Finally, we approached the doors to the Maryland Room, where we were welcomed with an uproarious cheer. Spectators surrounded the dance floor and our music once again began. The performance was made even better as we fed off the crowd’s intense energy. I left the ballroom to the sounds of hundreds of Texans clapping to “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”
Tears of joy pricked my eyes as I gathered my belongings for the bus ride back to our hotel. I had never been so proud to wear the Rangerette uniform. Back in my room as I get ready to welcome another end to another day, I’m happy to know this has been one I’ll never forget.