As more students become aware of its existence, the step team, under new leadership, has made a comeback and is gaining more participation.
Special education and NSL government teacher Kristian Kompare is the co- sponsor of the step team. Mr. Kompare’s knowledge of stepping comes from his experience in nonprofit step team organizations “[Blake’s team has] definitely been a work in progress. We have…captain and coach Renee Smallwood who’s doing an awesome job leading [the team] to do great things”.
Smallwood is encouraging her team to step out of their comfort zone and into the world so they can see how fierce they really are. Smallwood says, “We are nice people but when we step on stage that’s when…you don’t want to mess with us.”
If it weren’t for Smallwood there would not have been a step team this year. She made the team with the guidance of teachers Mr. Kompare, counseling secretary Lakesha McMillan, and English teacher Omari Daniel. Smallwood says, “Now that I am a coach and a captain I can not argue, fight… because I have students who look up to me,” she adds, “whether they are my age, older, or younger.”
Mr. Kompare wants to contribute to our school by sponsoring our step team. He says, “A school like ours, being an art school, we need to have a solid step team.” The team’s goal is to be recognized by the school and the community. “[We want] to show that there is a step team… [that] people can admire and respect,” Mr. Kompare says. “It’s something other schools can definitely fear from what we have to offer.”
Someone who has been personally changed by stepping is senior Rashaan Sampson one of the members of the step team. He says “Most [people] on the step team are kind of like me, boney and skinny, but as we are progressing and we look like we are becoming stronger.”
Now that the step team is making difference for their members, Mr.Kompare says “We are serious and…I will definitely put my 100% in it and I want [the team] to do the same”. He adds, “We are starting to show… people…who we are.”
For the students who are not that confident in themselves Smallwood says, “It will be fun to have a bigger team and bring more people together.” She adds, “Whether it’s girls or boys, it really doesn’t matter who you are.”