Whether it’s to DJ Loosekid’s tunes or the sounds of the Marching 100, if you hear music being played during game-day in Bragg Memorial Stadium or Al Lawson Center, just know the Diamonds of FAMU are in the stands dancing to it. With their sequined uniforms, bright smiles and synced movements, the Diamonds are a beloved part of FAMU’s student section and spirit.
Sept. 16 was not just the first home game of the season but the first time dancing during football season for the new members of the team. Senior animal science major Arionne Holden is the this year’s captain, and she said nerves were high during the game.
“Leading the first home game was nerve-wracking. There were so many emotions, overwhelm, love and feeling proud. Walking into Bragg all eyes were on us so I’m thinking entertain them, give them a show. That was the mindset throughout the game, do what you know, give them a show,” Holden said.
Holden has been dancing for eight years and been part of the Diamonds since December. She said becoming captain was something that just felt right and fit her plans for the season.
“Becoming captain felt right to me. It felt like a full circle moment because I was captain in high school and always dreamed of being a majorette dancer in college. My plan for the team is to pour love into my sisters as much as possible, so that when it is time for me to pass the torch they feel extremely confident in their identities and abilities. I want the team to be a source of positivity and light on this campus and that starts with what’s inside of us,” Holden said.
Holden is not the only leader of the team. Former Diamond Dancer and FAMU alumna Leniah Borders serves as the team’s coach.
“I’ve been a part of the Diamonds since 2016 and have been here ever since,” Borders said.
“I started coaching the Diamonds in late 2022 but actually got the title in January of 2023.”
Borders said the process of coaching a new team has been different due to new rules organizations must follow.
“This process is a totally different process because I’m dealing with a whole new team and a whole new FAMU. They have to go through things that I didn’t have to go through at FAMU, new rules and as an organization, so it sometimes makes it harder being that we are a student organization that supports ourselves,” Borders said.
“However, with it being new we are breaking barriers and doing new things FAMU hasn’t seen. We have so much in store for this season and thank you for the continuous support,” she added.
Borders says she has confidence in her team this season.
“If I could describe my team in one word, it would be IT because they are literally IT,” Borders said. “We are what any and everyone needs along with what the campus needs here at FAMU. Diamonds are a girls best friend and is everyone’s friend here at FAMU.”
The team also hosts events and has been seen giving out treats on the quad to students as they pass by. The dancers like to say they shine on campus just like diamonds.