The all-male dance team "wears uniforms, not costumes, and have practices, not rehearsals — after all, dancers are the athletes of God," jokes Patron about what it takes to perform.
The 610 Stompers begin practicing 4 months before Thanksgiving, at least once a week. But Patron adds, "When you see us dance, you may think we only practiced once or twice and that we may need to get a better dance coach. That’s part of our appeal though, you can’t practice the ordinary out of some of these guys."
To better prepare, the troupe dances through the streets of New Orleans. However, parades in New Orleans move at a much slower pace, so the 610 Stompers have to be ready for the rigor of a northern parade’s fast pace and strict schedule. The group also appears on the NBC broadcast and must prepare a 1-minute performance that is broadcast at the end of the parade march in the parade.
Says Patron, "The guys in our group share the duties of coming up with the choreography, so it’s usually pretty simple, but always entertaining. I would compare our dancing to a train wreck; you can’t keep your eyes off of it, but you also have no idea why you keep looking."