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The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

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Smoky Hill Step Team wows this weekend at Mile High Step Summit

Step Team is placed on map for their second-place win at competition hosted by Vista Peak Preparatory
Members: April Millard, Ja’Leah Harris, Leana Gaafar, Lailah Brooks, Gabrielle Amoh-Frimpong, Rashena Donald, Desire Gee, Taniyah Cooks, Jahidah Bass, Jassani Baleros, Deva Johnson, Chudler Tuom, Amarie Glay, Zeaniyah Reed, Kalani Sparks, Isha Brallier, Alyssa Burrel, Danica Azumah, Aesha Bransford, Aaliyah Bransford and Sophia Legesse

This past Saturday, Nov. 18, the Smoky Step Team took on the Mile High Step Summit 2023.

According to Mile High On The Cheap, “This year’s step show features competition between five high school teams judged by members of the Divine 9 (historically Black fraternities and sororities).”

“We make music with our bodies, with our feet and our hands,” Step Team Captain Ja’Leah Harris (12) said.

As stated by Step Afrika, “Stepping is a percussive, highly-energetic art form first developed through the song and dance rituals performed by African-American fraternities and sororities.”

Needless to say, Harris feels proud of the effort and commitment the team took to deservingly win their spot at Mile High.

“It feels great because it’s the first [time] in history and we did it with no coaches,” Harris said, “It’s an important thing for black people in our culture.”

“It’s hard without a coach,” Taniyah Cooks (11) said, “We really didn’t know what to expect, [but] we came with what we had.”

At Smoky, step is also a work of art that requires a team of creativity and focus.

“I’m the captain, and I feel like I do pretty good, you know, it’s a leadership position,” Harris said, “[My job is] making the performances and the routines teaching the steps. We have three captains like one of the captains teaches, one choreographs, but I put everything together.”

This year’s Mile High Step Summit consisted of a community of step-participating schools.

“It was [the] Cherry Creek School [District], Vista Peak, Westminster and DSST,” Cooks said.

But to some members, this was more than just a competition against other teams.

“I feel like it wasn’t really a competition,” Cooks said, “We all came together because it’s stepping, you know, we’re the only ones doing it. It just felt good to be part of a community knowing we’re not the only ones who do step and be a part of something bigger.”

Those involved in Step Team were able to utilize it to be in a team and community at Smoky.

“I feel like it’s a really good way to get out [of] your shell, make new friends, learn more about the culture of step and how it came about,” Cooks said, “I just came one day and I liked it because I was really shy and noticed I can make friends out of it.”

Joining the Step Team is a social and cultural opportunity that can turn into a possibility at Smoky– members of the team want to make sure that they are being recognized for this in the school.

“We do assemblies, cheer at the basketball games, do World Awareness,” Leana Nouman (10) said, “Anything that has to do with the school and advertising all of our activities.”

Step hopes to gain more attention and advantages as an activity at Smoky.

“The school doesn’t really pay attention to us a lot. We’re ‘just a club’, that’s how [Smoky] looks at us,” Nouman said, “[We hope the school] helps us with buying boots and costumes [and] trying to get into these competitions because you have to pay money for it.”

With their most recent accomplishment at the Mile High Summit, Step continues to be driven and goal-oriented in years to come.

“If there’s a Step Summit next year, I want them to get first place and continue on our streak and progress,” Harris said.

Other members agree that more recognition and chances to participate at Smoky will result in a more successful Step program.

“More performing, more getting more time for when [we] do halftime or do anything that goes on in the auditorium,” Nouman said, “[We will] keep competing, keep showing the school that we actually mean something.”

For more information on Step Team, click here.

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