(MMOT50) – Evolution by definition is “the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.”  From one thing comes another.  Life is an ever changing environment, in fact, the only constant in life is change.  But as it relates to band culture, specifically HBCU majorette style dance, a shift to a new normal may be underway that could push limitations and challenge traditions. 

The Prancing J-Settes of Jackson State University, the Fabulous Dancing Dolls of Southern University, the Golden Girls of Alcorn State University, the Sensational Stingettes of Alabama State University.  In the dance community, these lines and many others like them are staples and aspirations for thousands of little girls across the nation.  Television shows like “Bring It!” showcased youth dance lines that emulated those styles and put this style in the spotlight for the world to take in.  Viewers ate it up and the majorette style of dance caught not only fire but the attention of the likes of Beyonce Knowles and other celebrities.  Knowles 2019 film titled, “Homecoming” included dancers from HBCU dance lines across the country.  Seemingly for many, this was the pinnacle, this was the top of Mount Everest and the view was beautiful from up there.  

Again, “From one thing comes another”. Beginning as early as 2005, an underground movement had begun that would serve as a safehaven and place of acceptance for black gay men with a passion for majorette style of dance and the foundation for their push for inclusion and acceptance in the dance community. 

In Houston TX, Adonte Jones sits in his living room arranging an assortment of fabric pieces and materials.  Meticulous measurements, cutting, sewing, gluing, and perfecting.  Jones, 25, a former High School Star Point Guard and multiple basketball scholarship recipient is one of the most visible men in majorette style dance today.  Currently, he is captain of the All-Male dance team “Milk Mafia”, a team known for their trend setting, detail oriented movements and elaborate uniform designs. “Basketball was all that I knew until I discovered my passion for dance. I had scholarship offers from three different schools but I wanted to do something different”, Jones said. “I chose to become a cheerleader for Southern University after departing from basketball and never looked back.”

L-R, Zekiah Smith, Terell Jackson, Adonte Jones, Dylan Robinson, Robert McMillian, Matthew Fox

Milk Mafia, founded in 2018 and named by team member Milk Maurice, is one of many all-male dance lines that have taken YouTube and social media by storm. “Milk” is a style of dance made popular by the Southern University Dancing Dolls. Jones and several other members attended Southern and the Dancing Dolls were their biggest influence. “Their style exudes femininity and grace and when you combine that with mastery of technique, you get “Milk”, Jones said. Milk, Humping, Bucking are the main styles in majorette dance, the latter two made relevant by Alcorn, Jackson and Alabama State’s dance teams. “Milk is feminine, we get it, we may dance feminine, but make no mistake about it, we are men.” Jones went on to say, “Milk represents the feminine, Mafia represents the masculine. That is the meaning behind our name, Milk Mafia.”

“We may dance feminine, but make no mistake about it, we are men.”

“I was actually one of those dudes that would judge other men that danced. It was easier to judge than to be judged. I have outgrown that mentality and dance is what brought me into accepting myself. It gave me confidence.”

When asked about his legacy and what he wants Milk Mafia to be remembered for, his response was simple, “we want to break barriers and open doors for those that come after us.” As for the future of male majorette dancelines, Jones believes one day HBCU Band dance teams will accept male dancers. “It has to be done the right way, but I believe it can and will happen.” In 1990, Jackson State’s Sonic Boom of the South featured male baton twirler Roy Lee Jones who then received mixed reviews but overall was well received.

Learn more about Milk Mafia, follow them on Instagram @milkmafia.inc

#PushTheCulture

Previous articleSWAC leadership mandates the MMW & M4 to attend SWAC Championship Game
Next articleTSU Aristocrat of Bands selected to perform in 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade

LEAVE A REPLY



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here