"The Beatgirls are the hottest ticket in town."
Katy Couric at the Athens Olympics
When Katy Couric introduced The Beatgirls to NBC's The Today Show at the Athens Olympics in 2004, a huge television audience was seeing for itself what the corporate world already knew: that The Beatgirls could enliven any event with its song and dance shows. "We really enjoy what we're doing up there," says Andrea Sanders. "When performers like what they're doing, it lifts the whole room."
The Beatgirls has its roots in 1996, the year that guitarist and band leader Billy Watkins landed a regular spot at New Zealand's hottest venue. He decided on a twist: "It was a Beatles tribute show... but with three girls doing vocals."
The lead singer - Andrea Sanders - was also a dancer and choreographer, and the show quickly transformed. "Once Andrea brought dance and costumes into the show it was obvious the audiences wanted it." The repertoire expanded into girl-bands from the 1960s (Crystals, Shirelles, Ronettes etc.) and then into disco, which brought bigger costumes, more dance moves and wilder wigs.
Word spread about this tight, foot-tapping show and Watkins & Sanders formed a management company called Total Entertainment to deal with the corporate bookings. The show would eventually reach from The Andrews Sisters to J-Lo, using hi-tech music tracks pre-recorded in major studios. These days a Beatgirls' show is a professionally-produced blend of cabaret and rock concert which performs all over the world.