A beat from the synced stomps of 13 pairs of feet echoed through the halls of Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy on Friday, as the step team prepared for a weekend performance.
Thirteen girls in grades 3 through 8 make up the schools step team, which started in the fall shortly after the school opened. They will perform a 12-minute routine today in Bloomington for Indiana Universitys famed Little 500 bicycle race.
Marshall Academy Principal Tameka Wilson leads the small squad and said it has been a great exercise in team building and leadership for students. Being a part of the step team requires commitment, patience and hard work.
Its not easy at all, she said.
Seventh-grader Arie Brown, 12, said she thought shed give stepping a try. She was chosen to be team captain when the teams former captain moved, she said. The upcoming performance doesnt make Brown nervous, and shes looking forward to watching college sororities and fraternities step during the event as well.
The team has been a positive for many members, including two special education students whose parents didnt think theyd be able to perform in front of an audience. Its building their self-esteem, Wilson said.
The team has been practicing its current routine since about February, Brown said.
It starts with a three-minute dance routine followed by nine minutes of a step routine, with varied formations and a beat created by loud stomps or soft steps, claps and thigh or chest slaps.
The team was focused Friday, running through parts of the routine, sometimes several consecutive times. The team was scheduled to practice after school until 6 p.m.
Brown said even though she had never stepped before this year, shes having fun with her classmates and enjoys traveling and performing.
I love my team, she said.