Uniquely Detroit: Motor City Breakerz

SOUTHWEST DETROIT – Benito Vasquez, a.k.a Mav-One, has seen his Southwest Detroit neighborhood though some good, and bad, times.

“I'm very, very proud. I carry that very strongly that I was born here and raised here,” Vasquez said. “I don't want to be one of the people leaving and abandoning it.”

Drawn to break dancing and the b-boy lifestyle when he was younger, Vasquez founded the Motor City Street Dance Academy out of the Garage Cultural (3439 Livernois) as a way to stay connected to the neighborhood.

"When I was that age, I was really just drawn to everybody flipping around, doing windmills, and hitting power moves,” Vasquez said.

He wants to pass on what he’s learned to a younger generation that needs positive activities to pursue in Southwest.

“What we do with our youth is, ‘each one, teach one.’ That's a value that we hold really strongly inside of Motor City Street Dance Academy. It's really simple. If I show you, you go show somebody else,” Vasquez said.

And it’s not all about learning dance moves. Vasquez said his students are learning values they can apply to life.

“When I have them help me with the event organizing … now all of a sudden they are learning responsibility, and communication skills, teambuilding skills, they're learning accountability. I'm trusting them and I have confidence that my youth will be able to bring it to the table,” Vasquez said.

For more information on the dance academy, click here. 

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