With each step planned to compliment the next, the members of the Mafia Dance Team at Wayne State University look towards their future impact on Detroit
The Dance Team is a recognized WSU club, organized by 19-year-old WSU students Markeith Jones and Julia Harte.
“We are a majorette auxiliary battalion,” Jones said when labeling the type of dance that they perform.
Jones describes a majorette auxiliary battalion as a dance group that follows along with marching bands specializing in different forms of dance including—pom-pom, baton twirling, and hip-hop. Jones added they’re developing acrobatic skills as well.
Jones, a dance major, says he remembers growing up less fortunate than others.
“I could never afford classes,” Jones said. “I want to provide what I didn’t have.”
Jones said his ultimate mission in life with dance is to bring affordable dance education to less fortunate communities of Detroit. Jones hopes to inspire younger generations through dance and plans to open a studio for the disadvantaged youth.
Jones plans for Mafia to lay the groundwork to bring performing arts programs back to Detroit Public Schools. It’s about expression for the young and the evolving mind Jones explained.
“High school is so structured,” Jones said. “With dance education students would be able to relieve stress, compared to how some students treat PE (physical education) class.”
The club, still in the beginning stages has yet to schedule a major event, hindering their chance to spread their message of the importance of dance education. 19-year-old co-captain Julia Harte is excited and anxious for their team’s first opportunity to spread their message through dance.
“We haven’t been given the chance to do much, but when it comes we’ll be ready,” Harte said.
Jones’ hopes to open his own dance studio a place where he can make his dream of affordable dance education possible. “The studio is a long term goal.” Jones said.
For students interested in starting a club, the Dean of Students Office supports approximately 400 recognized student organizations.
“Student organizations represent the interests and activities of the Wayne State community,” Graduate Student Assistant with the Student Affairs Department Rainesha Williams–Fox said.
WSU requires at least two currently registered students to form a new student organization, for more information on student organizations contact the Dean of Students Office on the third floor of the Student Center or by phone at 313-577-1010.