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Honey Beez Represent ASU on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Image associated with the Honey Beez Represent ASU on ‘America’s Got Talent’ news item

Author: Lois G. Russell

Release Date: Aug 09, 2017

ASU’s Honey Beez appeared on the top-rated reality show, America’s Got Talent, on Tuesday, Aug. 8, sharing their show-stopping talents with the nation.

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Hornet Nation was buzzing on Tuesday evening, as excited alumni and other ASU supporters tuned in to NBC’s America’s Got Talent (AGT) to see their beloved Honey Beez perform for the panel of judges that included Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Mel B. and guest judge, Seal.

The ladies made the most of their moment in the spotlight, proudly telling the crowd, “We’re the Honey Beez from Montgomery, Alabama. And we attend Alabama State University!”

“It was very exciting. I’m used to performing in front of large crowds, but performing on a stage in front of judges is totally different,” said Dequendra Elston, a 20-year-old communications major from Talladega, Ala. “Seeing the crowd’s reactions was a great experience because they’re seeing you for the very first time. It’s not like at a football game. This was a new crowd, and we didn’t know how they would take what they were seeing; but they loved us and that was just a great experience for all of us.”

The show was pre-recorded in March on the AGT stage in Hollywood. The Honey Beez wowed the crowd and the judges in their first performance. During the second round, known as the “Judges Cuts,” Mel B. could be heard saying, “I like these girls.”

The Honey Beez have gained a wide audience since their debut in 2004. Band director, Dr. James Oliver, said he was inspired to form the group when the band needed something extra for a halftime performance.

“I’m certainly proud of them,” said Oliver. “I never expected the Honey Beez to get to this level. It was just an idea. To have it at this level and to have these young ladies feel the confidence that they have is something that is so incredible. This will never end. Little girls growing up don’t have to feel that they can’t be a part of something especially when they love to dance. They don’t have to be shifted to the flag girls just because of their size. Now, they can have their own platform. When we started this, we knew that people would follow them; and now bands around the country are adopting their own version of the Honey Beez. There will always be a place here for plus sized ladies to have that platform. These girls, and the Honey Beez before them, have really changed the perception of plus sized ladies.”

The talented ladies are more than dancers. They also act as mentors to young girls, helping them to build their self-confidence and encouraging them to pursue their dreams.

“Being a part of the Honey Beez for the past four years, I’ve got to experience a lot of social media/television exposure,” said Quiana Reliford, a 21 year senior from Kansas City, Ks., who serves as captain for the group. “It’s rewarding but it’s also a responsibility. It’s a responsibility but it’s also a privilege. The central message of the Honey Beez is that we want people to know that they can do whatever their passion is, what they love to do, regardless of what adversity comes their way.Regardless of the naysayers, you can get there. We want the people who see us to be inspired to have confidence in themselves and to know that they can reach their goals.”

Anna Marshae Williams has served as the group’s choreographer and coordinator for the past four years. She danced with the “Beez” during their AGT performance.

“Actually, they had to back me up,” said Williams. “They were super excited, but I was super nervous. I would encourage them and tell them how good they were going to be, and then stand in the background and say ‘Oh, Jesus!’ They were super supportive of me. I had not danced in front of a crowd in years. But overall, the experience was great. Look at us! We made it to the Judge’s Cuts; so, it was just a great experience for all of us.”

While the group did not make it through to the live performance, they did receive rave reviews from the judges, the AGT audience and their Hornet Nation fans who tuned in to watch their appearance.

“We gave our fans what they’ve come to expect: the big, the bold and the beautiful and, of course, the big boom!” Elston added.

You can catch the Honey Beez and the Mighty Marching Hornets in their first game-day performance on Sept. 2, when the Hornets take on the Golden Tigers of Tuskegee in the inaugural Labor Day Classic.
 

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