The Wave


Real Life Rodeo Queen Secret Number 6:

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do “the wave”.

Often the subject of jokes and criticism as seen by Corban Livingston’s hilarious interpretation, our wave is a symbol that is uniquely “Rodeo Queen”.

Like many aspects of the rodeo queen world our wave is derived from tradition. The rodeo queen wave has evolved overtime and can be different from country to country, and even have vastly different styles between states.

In Canada, most queens wave with what is sometimes referred to as a “wax on, wax off” fashion, using your elbow as a pivot point you smoothly wave your hand from side to side.

Many Miss Rodeo America’s wave with just their hands, keeping the elbow locked and rotating the hand in front of you. Miss Rodeo American 2015, Lauren Heaton says, “We\’ve always been taught to make ours really casual and natural, like waving at a neighbor. The way American rodeo queens see it, it\’s our way to interact with the audience and be personable and inviting.”

I spoke with Danika Boland, Miss Rodeo Australia 2015, who I will be visiting in the fall and she said “There isn\’t really a specific way we have to wave it\’s more personal style. I personally wave mid way between front and side so if you where looking straight ahead at a clock my arm would be at 2,3 o\’clock and then just give a gentle wave with a little but of arm movement. Sometimes I change it up midway and mix in a little open shut hand wave. Wow sounds so strange trying to explain it!”

I’ve also seen variations with less or more arm movement, sometimes very fluid motions, and even a salute. There’s also different waves for different occasions, waves for riding fast, riding slow, sitting on a stationary horse, or standing on foot.

Anyway you do it, a rodeo queen’s wave is a powerful thing. It’s what welcomes the crowd to the rodeo during the grand entry, it’s what gets young girls on their feet pointing for mommy and daddy to look at the pretty princess on horseback, and I know it’s the image that helped inspire me all those years ago to become the rodeo queen I am today.

Plus, we’d look pretty lackluster riding around the arena with our free hand at our side! So Corban Livingston, thank you for making sure our waves are at an acceptable standard!


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