Elite Elegance brings majorette-style dances to Eastern

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Janiya Fair

Eastern’s first Southern Majorette team performs at the homecoming parade.

Will Simmons, Campus Reporter

If you look up “Majorette Dancing” online, you will see mentions of baton twirling, dancing and even knife juggling. This, however, is not the case for Eastern’s new majorette dance club.

Iyanna Stanton, a sophomore journalism major and former president of the club, said that the majorette dance group, who call their troop “Elite Elegance,” are more dance than death defying juggling.

Stanton would describe their dances as “Majorette-style” or “Southern style.”

“If you ever heard of the show ‘Bring It,’ it’s like that type of dancing, so we don’t use batons, it’s like bucking and routines and stuff like that,” Stanton said.

The dance club has had up to 18 members according to Asianna Martin, a junior public relations major who is Elite Elegance’s DJ and treasurer, yet they are not officially a Registered Student Organization.

The dream for the club is to get RSO status, which could get approved during Wednesday’s Student Government meeting, doesn’t stop there.

“The current goal is to become an RSO,” Martin said. “But the main goal is to become part of athletics.”

While there may be competitions for Elite Elegance’s Southern style of dancing, Martin told me that for the group it’s all about having fun.

Elite Elegance was in Eastern’s homecoming parade, and they have hopes of becoming the first majorette dancing club on campus.

So why did the group feel that Eastern needed this type of dance group?

“We feel like it would be different to bring to the table to EIU solely because, like I said before, it’s a different style of dance, and like, not a lot of people like know about it,” Stanton said.

The club is only a few months old, but they came together in the name of dance. Both Stanton and Martin agree, for them, it’s all about the community and camaraderie.

Martin’s favorite part, in addition to being Eastern’s first Black-founded majorette dance club, is “seeing people come together and just dancing.”

Martin said she enjoys dancing, but there is a reason she is the group’s DJ: she doesn’t dance.

Once the group receives it’s official designation of “RSO,” they plan on having performances on campus, but as of now they can not dance for an audience on campus, Martin said.

Stanton found majorette dancing in high school after looking for a group with something in tune with her love for rhythmic movement.

According to Martin, Kylira Beary, a junior marketing major and the group’s president, went to high school with Martin and also found Majorette dancing in high school.

A lot of preparation goes on behind the scenes in majorette dancing before the group can go out and show their stuff.

“The vice president, secretary and the president, they come up with the moves from scratch,” Martin said.

They might start creating a dance to music or, the founder said, sometimes they just use an 8-count or 16-count to sync Elite Elegance’s dance to a rhythm.

Stanton said that some dances are created within a couple of hours, while others take longer. As far as teaching the dances to other members of the group, Stanton said sometimes it can take up to a week, but it all depends.

Although, both Martin and Stanton told me that everybody is welcome, you may need to step up your dance game if you plan on performing with the group, because Stanton said that there will be a tryout to make sure only the best will represent Elite Elegance on stage.

This week Elite Elegance will find out where their RSO status stands.

“You gotta have attitude when you dance,” Stanton said. ”You have to, like the dance moves, everything has to be sassy and classy.”

Will Simmons can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]