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Soul Line Dancing Breaks Out Beneath Confederate Flag

Ben Bradford

Tuesday, the South Carolina Senate gave its final approval for removing the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. Debate moves to the South Carolina House of Representatives Wednesday.

Of course, the Capitol has been the scene of debate and protests the last couple weeks. So WFAE’s Ben Bradford couldn’t help but notice when he saw some unexpected frivolity this afternoon.

Outside on the plaza of the South Carolina state capitol, in between the entrance to the building and the Confederate monument that flies the controversial flag, about a dozen middle-aged black women step back and forth, and turn in unison to the music. They’re line dancing to Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean."

And, the TV cameras quickly began to circle, looking for depictions of celebration from supporters of the movement to take down the flag. The dance group's leader, Chris Miller, says that wasn't the intention.

"When I chose to come down here, honestly, I didn’t know that today was what was going to happen today."

The group is a soul line dancing class from the local rec center. The group simply came out for a change of scenery.

Revella Alston has been attending the class for eight years.

"The irony of it - that we're actually out here dancing," she says. "So if they make their decision before they leave, it’s actually history-making and if they make the decision before we leave, we’ll already be in the party mood."

If his class ends up as the face of the celebration, Miller says he’s OK with it.

"If we could stand for just unity and a celebration for everyone who’s happy, that’ll be all right with me."

In the meantime, the group dances under the shadow of the Confederate flag.