New club steps it up

Emma Eldred, staff writer

With teams ranging from ping-pong to hockey, BSM offers a wide variety of athletic opportunities for all of its students’ interests. The newest addition: a revitalized, organized, and passionate step team put together by diversity coordinator Mrs. Lidibette Rosado-Guzman this winter season.

Looking for a new activity to participate in other than the same sports seen in every high school, a couple of students put in the request to start a new step team. “Our school needs something new, because I’m tired of the same thing like dance team and football,” said freshman Adenike Agunbiade.

No cost, past experience, or try-out is necessary to be on the step team. Contrast to the stereotypical view of a stepper, the step team is not only for students of color, but for anyone who wants to be a part of the team.

Working hard to break down that stereotype is proud stepper junior Alex Maziji. “I feel like I’m representing all of the Caucasians out there and proving that anyone can step if they put their minds to it,” said Maziji.

A step team existed a couple of years ago but was very small, unorganized, and completely student run without any help from a professional coach. “They practiced after school sometimes in a classroom and only performed once at the homecoming pepfest,” said Mrs. Rosado-Guzman.

With more practice and a dedicated team, the steppers are looking forward to performing more than once a year. “We’re hoping that we can perform at some more of the school pepfests and possibly at some basketball and football games in the future,” said Mrs. Rosado-Guzman.

Dr. Sue Skinner first proposed the idea of creating a formalized step team to Mrs. Rosado-Guzman at a staff meeting two years ago. The search for a coach was difficult and once one was found, he quit before the team was even formed.

This year, Mrs. Rosado-Guzman’s first thought was to contact the step team at the University of Minnesota to see if one of their members would be willing to be the coach of BSM’s team. They told her they were very busy, but recommended they call Sean Burns.

Burns is a special ed teacher and coaches many other step teams around the metro area through his coaching company called Soul Steps Consulting. His mission is to “illustrate life’s purpose through the art of stepping.”

Because Burns coaches multiple other teams, the steppers need to work around his schedule as well as making sure the gym is available when it comes to organizing practice times–meaning that practices don’t start until five or seven o’clock at night. “The times are not the greatest, but its better to have someone who can structure the team then not having one at all,” said Mrs. Rosado-Guzman.

The step team is hoping to open their team up to all students in grades 7-12 as well as host a summer camp available for anyone who would like to participate.