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Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

WHO ARE WE?

WHO ARE WE?

From the beginning, the school has developed many different means of entertainment and activities that students could get involved in and ease their academic workload. The Step team is among those activities that have stirred up excitement and enthusiasm among the students.

The Step team is a big organization that is made up of two branches: the Dynasty Girls and the Distinguished Gentlemen. Although they are under the same category and share several similarities, senior Ta’Niyah Kearney feels that the Dynasty group focuses a lot on preparing the girls for the world after high school.

“Dynasty is a whole bunch of strong individual young ladies. We prepare them. Not only is it a sisterhood, but it helps you after high school,” Kearney said. “You learn so many values and morals that can help you become a young lady in this world as the upcoming woman and just know her worth, her value, independence, and confidence.”

The Distinguished Gentlemen group was created a few years after Dynasty. A couple of  boys came together with the same mindset on how to entertain the students and staff. DG Coach, Benjamin McPherson, also known as Father Smoke, describes how he was involved in the making of the team.

“DG has been around since 2016; that was 3 years after the Dynasty was made. DG was created by a big team of honorable smart men,” McPherson. “I was one of the VIP Team members that created the legacy of the distinguished gentlemen.”

Sometimes, it takes the members a while to learn and perfect the new moves that have been introduced to them. Some of their moves like the Stroll choreography, a dance that involves the team moving their body to the rhythm of the song, along with the rigorous sharp movements that they have to memorize are difficult. Senior Kaylee Daniels explains how intense and detailed it could be when it comes to learning something fresh.

“It takes a while, especially for Step. Takes me about a week or a week or two just to get a step fully down. I think it’s hard to find unique movements to piece it together. For Stroll, I think it’s so easy to dance like you know just moving your body to the song,” Daniels said. “I feel like it’s easier to put down more than a step. Steps are more detailed, and harder. A lot of people tend to struggle with steps. It takes a week to learn and a perfect stroll. We have practices two times a week, so we put the effort in 24/7 throughout the entire practice.” 

With the help of the Faculty sponsor and the students at the school, the team comes up with fundraising ideas. They look for ways to provide for their finances since they don’t receive any financial assistance. In order to reduce the financial expenses and enhance the team, Lieutenant Cornell Berry describes some economic means that the team uses.

“We performed at Southwest Airlines headquarters and American Airlines headquarters,” Berry said. “We come up with some fundraisers like the BOO Grams and popcorn. To do these shows, registration, meals, anything that we do for the club, we have to do a fundraiser because we don’t get any money from MISD.”

One of the unique traits that each Step member has is their name, names that are far different from what they are known by their peers in school. Daniels feels that having those names is like living in two different worlds.

“I believe that it’s cool to have nicknames. It’s like a different universe. You walk in, you have a different vibe because you’re a different person. My name is Dynamic. In school or the hallways, you might know me as Kaylee. Kaylee has a great attitude, but when I come into practice, I’m Dynamic,” Daniels said. “I’m different. I have variations of energy, and I’m going to perform differently. I’m going to have my highs and have my lows if I need to whisper or low step. I feel like your name is who you are when it comes to step when it comes to business, and when it comes to practice overall.”

Comparing athletics with Step, there seem to be more similarities than differences. The athletes always look forward to the season as they get to play against other teams and hopefully move to the next level. It’s also the same in Step. As the competition season begins, Berry explains how the team starts with the locals before progressing to the bigger round.

“The team always looks forward to the competition season. It starts in December, and we start by doing local competitions,” Berry said. “We’ve traveled as far as Houston and did competition Houston. One of the biggest competitions is Stomp Wars, it’s nationwide. In the past, the team has gone to Florida for the National step competition as well.”

The school has allowed several means of entertainment for students and staff, one of which is the Step team, formed by students. The team is like a sisterhood and brotherhood to the members. The dance steps are very detailed; sometimes they could be easy, other times they could be difficult. They organize fundraisers to help the club’s economy. They stand out with their strong sense of community.

About the Contributor
Precious Nwokolo
Precious Nwokolo, ENN Staff