Step Team Debuts During Black-Out Pep Rally

Jakob Hazen

Daja Dansby, Staff Writer

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A month after it was organized, the school’s step team made its debut performance at the Black-Out pep rally on Nov. 4.

“I’m proud of myself for doing it,” junior Raven Stevenson said. “I was nervous for a minute when we started, but once we were done I thought that it was so much fun.”

The last time the school had a step team was in 2012.

“(The students) have always had an interest in it and the spirit to do it,” teacher Joy Dawkins, who was on a step team when she was in high school, said. “It’s just that the adults that the students wanted to be sponsors couldn’t be sponsors for whatever reason.”

The team was organized by coach Aisha Wilkes who stepped in high school.

“Coach Wilkes came from another school with a successful team,” captain Ric’eshia Brewer said, “I think she really wanted that for Timberview.”

Wilkes said that she was shocked there was not a step team and she wanted to help.

“People think that you’re just making beats, but it’s a hard skill; you’re making music with your body,” Wilkes said. “I want to bring it for those kids that want to go into sororities or fraternities, to prepare them for that.”

Wilkes wants to make sure that her team knows the history behind step.

“It’s a skill that’s passed down from Africa,” Wilkes said. “It’s a cultural thing that I want my students to be involved in, not only because we’re African Americans, but because our ancestors came from Africa.”

Stevenson said that she was excited to be a part of something that was reorganized.

“I enjoy the energy that goes on with knowing the sounds and being able to be myself,” Stevenson said. “Being part of the step team helps me stick out more.”

The team practices every day after school for an hour and a half.

“Step takes a lot of discipline and practice,” Dawkins said. “I’ve seen the step team practicing more often than the 2012 team. Not only are there a lot of people on the team, but they’re all at practice.”

Wilkes is planning to enter the team in competitions.

“We’re doing a lot this year,” Stevenson said. “I hope that we get stronger and become a bigger step team like before.”

Dawkins said that she has high expectations for the group.

“It brings tradition and a winning spirit back,” Dawkins said. “They should perform well across the city and recreate the name for Timberview.”

Brewer views the team as a family.

She said, “We’re all different and have different backgrounds but we can still come together to make something beautiful.”