A step in a new direction

Our school is introducing a new club this year; the step team. What are they? What will they bring to our school?

A new addition to the clubs of FHC, the step team is beginning its debut in the school. Including 23 student performers, headed by team manager Heaven Loggins and team captain Ta Niya Williams, the step team has started its season, getting ready for their performance on Sept. 29 at the Homecoming pep assembly and in the Homecoming parade.  

Step dance is a percussive form of dance style, usually to music in the hip-hop genre, and has it’s base in Africa, where it was used to show allegiance to another group.                    

“I feel like it’s using your body…your feet, your hands, your chest, your legs, bringing them together in rhythm,” says Mariah Javier. “Stomping and clapping and using your voice,” said Ta Niya Williams, team captain.

Williams is also the founder of the step team, as well as its captain. “Me and my friends were thinking about it freshman year, but we couldn’t find a sponsor, until I found one at the end of the summer, and that’s when we kind of got it together,” said Williams. Shannon Harting, the sponsor, said she was very excited about the offer.“It just sounded fantastic to be involved with young women who wanted to express themselves…it’s been a blast.”

The experience of the people on the team widely varies. This actually helps them connect to each other better, says Mariah Javier.

“I think it teaches us to work together … learning new things, because a lot of the people on the step team … they don’t know, they don’t have any experience.”

The bond between teammates is a big part of the step team, according to Mrs. Harting.

There’s a lot of laughter at practice, you see a lot of concentrating on perfecting their steps, there’s a lot of excitement about performing for the school.

— Mrs. Shannon Harting

This comes partially from the student leadership in the team.

“The step team is almost completely student led,” Mrs. Harting said. “We have a team manager, and then we have a team captain, and I am really just the supervising adult for the team … everything I am doing is trying to empower the student leaders to own the club.”

The freedom teaches responsibility and gives freedom of expression to the members, who don’t have adult choreographers, and sets itself apart from other school-related activities. It also sets itself apart from others because of it’s novelty.

“I think it’s something new,” said Javier, “not a lot of schools have a step team.”

It’s importance in our school, as not only a different club than what is usually presented in schools, but an actively student-led one, is the fact it’s an art form.

“I think any kind of expressive arts, and any clubs or teams that promote movement, and creativity, and expression are just so important and give adolescents a place to perform in front of others, and express their craft, and to be comfortable in their own bodies and to be connected to the school,” Ms. Harting said.

After their first performance, the team would be very welcome to new members.

“I hope that it will want everyone to join,” Williams said. “ I want everyone to know that we make music with our bodies.”