Drill and dance teams making an economic impact nationwide
A couple of 2014 Kilgore College Rangerettes (Source: KLTV Staff)
Dr. Ray Perryman presenting his study at Kilgore College (Source: KLTV Staff)
KILGORE, TX (KLTV) -
Nearly 75 years ago, an East Texas drill team changed the way fans viewed halftime at football games. Wednesday, a study was released on the Kilgore College Rangerettes and the economic benefits of the dance industry. An economist conducted the study on the first ever drill team and how they set the stage for thousands of jobs and billions of dollars.
"If you look at the history, this was the first one. I mean, yes, there are others around. Some started nearby not long after," Dr. Ray Perryman, who helped conduct the study, said.
The first drill team in the country sparked the Perryman Group's interest. They conducted a free study on the team that started nearly 75 years ago and how they've made an economic impact.
"The drill teams right now and all the activities associated with them are responsible for about 50,000 permanent jobs in the U.S. economy and about $4 billion in gross domestic product. Those are big numbers."
These are numbers that economically benefit jobs and market value each year. According to Perryman's study, he found that there had been no previous data on the economic benefits of the dance industry.
"I think it validates this industry whereas before the study we didn't have data to really validate what this art form has become in terms of a business and an industry," former Rangerette Mazie Jamison said.
Mazie Jamison was a Rangerette from 1967 to 1969. She says the skills that dancers obtain in school follow them no matter what career they pursue.
“There’s obviously self-reliance, self-discipline, there’s character, there’s moral, there’s a work ethic; all those things that it took to be a Rangerette then follows them into their adulthood," Jamison said.
The Rangerettes will be celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. Their first half time performance was September 19, 1940.