Our George School Ambassadors have been asked to write about their favorite club on campus. Autumn ’16, shares why she loves the R&B Step Team.
My parents have always told me that the quality of a product is only as good as the work that you put in.
My favorite club is less of a club and more of a team. The step team is a group I’ve been a member of since freshmen year. I fell in love because of the great connections I made with teammates and the inspiring motivation I felt from my captain during the first year. After two years of hard work and dedication I am now the captain! The step team meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. There are twenty-four girls (although the team is open to boys and girls, I think the guys are too intimidated to join us). I guess when it comes to step at GS we go back to our childhood days when guys believed girls had cooties and they were too scared to try out. I don’t blame them, we’re pretty awesome.
Step has its roots in the South African mines where making sounds with one’s body was originally used to replace drums. It is the creation of rhythm and beats using ones body as the instrument. To me, the most important traits required for step are discipline, trust, confidence, and precision/unity. These are the things I try to instill in my team through bonding activities and drills. It may sound militaristic of me but drills are my favorite exercise in step. It reminds me of the movie Cadet Kelly starring Hilary Duff when she was sent away to military school and she became a city girl turned drill master, just like me!
I remember the first time my captain made the team do drills freshmen year, it was honestly terrible because I was the reason why we were doing them. Normally in step you do a move twice, once on the right and then again on the left; but for some reason on this particular step I couldn’t figure out how to reverse it! Earlier I told you some of the traits that are necessary for step are precision and unity. This is because the team is supposed to act as one body and create one sound (that’s where the trust and confidence comes in). When I didn’t get this part of the step down I did two things: 1) I stopped and tried to fix my mistake by doing what I thought was right 2) I messed up the step completely and added my own solo to the step–not good! After this happened for about the eighth time (I kid you not it happened that many times) my captain made us do that ONE section over and over again for ten minutes straight until I got it. It doesn’t seem hard but the amount of physical energy and concentration it takes to step for that long is exhausting. Oddly enough, this is around the moment where I began to fall in love with step. I realized that if I worked hard on something that I believed I didn’t have the skills for, I would gain that skill just because of the discipline and dedication I put into it. My parents have always told me that the quality of a product is only as good as the work that you put in. After that practice, steps became easy for me to pick up and I would do them for fun on top of tables, or any wood surface I could find on campus.
Step has literally become “life” for me over the years. I step during class quietly to myself, while I’m hanging out with friends on Red Square or in Marshall, and sometimes I do it just to feel empowered. I get connected with so many people through step. It is incredible how many unexpected friendships I have because of step. It’s like a black-ops society of steppers that are united through slapping our bodies and stomping. All in all, step is one of the best secrets I’ve discovered about George School. I love my team, I couldn’t imagine ever giving step up.