Holly Husband, 48, spends her days working as a clinical manager for a healthcare company and her free time caring for aging parents.

But when she dances in a neon pink wig and tutu, all that responsibility falls away.

“Nobody knows who I am when I look like this,” Husband said. “There’s a freeness that comes with it. There’s a lot of heaviness in the world today, and this is just something good and fun for me and for the community.”

Husband is one of about 50 Lagniappe Ladies, a new dance group that will make its public debut Feb. 23 in the Krewe of Carnivale en Rio Parade.

“I think we’ll get a bunch more people saying they want to join us or even people starting their own groups after they see us in the Rio parade,” said Janie Varisco, co-founder of the Lagniappe Ladies. “I’d like to grow to 100 members by May.”


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Varisco and Susan Fisher started the group in mid-December after seeing similar groups in other cities.

A dozen people showed up to the first informal meeting. That number quickly grew to 50.

“It blows me away,” Fisher said. “It blows me away how many people are interested in this.”

Many of the Lagniappe Ladies have no previous dance experience, but they easily fit in with the group since its mission is to empower members and others through fun performances at community events.

Karen LeMaire, 59, instantly wanted to join the Lagniappe Ladies when she heard about it through friends.

“I absolutely was in, without hesitation,” LeMaire said. “It’s something that brings joy, and I believe in doing what makes you joyful.”

Keep up with the Lagniappe Ladies by visiting facebook.com/LagniappeLadies.

Janine Dugas rehearses with the new all-female dance group, The Lagniappe Ladies, on Wednesday February 6, 2019. Their first performance will …

Megan Wyatt is a member of the Lagniappe Ladies and a staff writer for The Acadiana Advocate. Follow her on Twitter, @TDAMeganWyatt.