Artists of the Week: Step Team
by Simone Hunter-Hobson on Friday, December 5th, 2014
898 Step Team is one of the most vibrant and exciting clubs at Milton Academy. Since its founding in 2010 by Liane Grace (‘12), the Step Team has become a vital club on Milton’s campus and represents the great traits of “innovation and creativity,” according to Lisandra Lao, a current captain.
If you’re obsessed with Vine and social media, you may have at one point come across the popular videos of people dancing to the phrase “hit for me one time.” Lisandra Lao and Zaria Smalls, two of the four captains, were practicing at Lao’s house when they decided to base their Pep Rally’s step-off off of these popular Vine videos. Lao says that it took them about a “half an hour to form a step routine off of that beat.” To prepare for the Pep Rally’s performance, the Step Team held ten practices within a span of four weeks. Zaria Smalls says that the step team repeatedly practices the routines so that they “become muscle memory rather than people having to think about the motion.”
When asked about the team’s collaboration with Mr. Darling, Lao states, “Mr. Darling is a popular and chill guy [who] was also super cooperative.” The captains say that when considering the visual appearance of the performance, they knew that the “MA” formation would be appropriately neat and clean.
Nerves are inevitable before a big performance such as the Milton-Nobles Day Pep Rally. In order to alleviate these nerves, the step members have a prayer circle before performing. They also chant encouraging words, such as “we got this” in order to uplift the spirits and confidence of the members. As an audience member, I greatly enjoyed the Step Team’s Pep Rally performance for several reasons. The formation and beat were original and unexpected yet tightly coordinated. I loved the idea of Mr. Darling’s leading a call and response with the team members. The performers were enthusiastic and confident, two characteristics that make for a great performance.
When asked about the team’s most recent performance, Lao confirmed that “David Mercier (I) and [she] participated in the AISNE Middle School Diversity Conference” on Saturday, November 15th and that “it was honestly the most humbling and rewarding experience [she has] had thus far regarding diversity work and inclusion within the independent school community.” In addition, Zaria Smalls says, “step will be represented in Dance Concert,” a performance that I am confident everyone will enjoy. I wish all members the best of luck, and I anticipate seeing more great performances from Milton Academy’s 898 Step Team.
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