World Travelers: Pelicans Dance Team Visits Taiwan
By Blake Moore, Pelicans.com
Six of members of the Pelicans Dance Team recently traveled 8,192 miles to Taipei, Taiwan for the Cathay Youth Madness tournament.
Kellie, MaQue, Jenny, Tramera, Victoria, Cassidy represented the Pelicans and Ashley Deaton, the team’s manager, said they had a great experience performing and showcasing the NBA game experience to an international crowd.
While in Taiwan, the dancers made several appearances. They appeared on a popular television show, participated in a pep rally at a local university and instructed a neighborhood dance class.
“It was such a privilege to represent and show everyone all about who and what we are as the Pelicans, and of course being from New Orleans,” MaQue said.
After their dance performance at the university, MaQue said everyone came together to form a line dance and also participated in a relay basketball contest.
Throughout their appearances, the dancers said the fans were great.“The energy of all the people in the gym was so thrilling,” Deaton said. “I felt like I was
back in New Orleans in the arena dancing in front of all of our Pelicans fans.”
"The girls were very warmly received at each and every appearance," Deaton said. "They were showered with gifts and roaring applause at every stop."
Even though the dancers were there to work, they did have some free time to explore the alluring city.
Staying at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, the dancers were positioned in the tallest hotel in the heart of the city. From the top of the 43-story hotel, they were able to see the enticing city, including the renowned Taipei 101.
Taipei 101 is the world’s second tallest building. It reaches 508 meters with 101 floors above ground and five floors underground.
When they arrived, they were ushered to the double-deck elevators where they were swept to the 89th floor in less than 30 seconds.
The observation levels are on the 89th and 91st floors. They were able to see a 360-degree view of the city’s alluring architecture and captivating landscapes.
“I have never seen anything like it. It was truly amazing how large of a city it is,” Kellie said. “Coming from New Orleans where there is so much culture and liveliness, it was exciting to see a different way of life with just as much culture and respect for the city they have developed.”
The next stop was the National Palace Museum. With a permanent collection of more than 696,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks, this museum is one of the largest in the world. The dancers were able to see hand-made vases, calligraphy and more of the national treasures on display from different dynasties.
“This place was packed and full of history,” Kellie said. “There were so many artifacts displayed, and our tour guides did a great job helping us understand where they came from and the culture behind them.”
Before heading back to New Orleans, the women had to experience the well-known night market. A big tourist attraction, the street markets allowed them to engage in a little bartering and acquire some souvenirs.
Deaton said it is safe to say all of the dancers would love to return.
“The overall entire trip was just a fantastic experience,” MaQue said. “Beautiful people. Beautiful city. Beautiful Taiwan.”