Step Club promotes diversity, improves community

Step+Club%27s+members+gathered+together+outside+the+cafeteria.+Bottom+row%3A+Nawal+Adil%2C+Cassie+Patterson%2C+Lydia+Young%2C+Profe+Higgins%2C+Katarina+Lomis%2C+Mackenzie+Horton%2C+Angela+Lee%2C+Myah+DeRoche.+Middle+row%3A+Kaia+Barr%2C+Abigail+Wagner%2C+Rejoyce+Mgboji%2C+Erin+Lovelace%2C+Learic+Beatty%2C+Adriana+Brown%2C+Nyia+Spellen%2C+and+Hanna+Soughou.+Top+row%3A+Becca+Moen%2C+Kierra+Dermatis%2C+Breanna+Bulllock%2C+Savannah+London%2C+Marcus+Dermatis-Wells%2C+Megan+Eberius%2C+Josh+Glendon.
Step Club's members gathered together outside the cafeteria. Bottom row: Nawal Adil, Cassie Patterson, Lydia Young, Profe Higgins, Katarina Lomis, Mackenzie Horton, Angela Lee, Myah DeRoche. Middle row: Kaia Barr, Abigail Wagner, Rejoyce Mgboji, Erin Lovelace, Learic Beatty, Adriana Brown, Nyia Spellen, and Hanna Soughou. Top row: Becca Moen, Kierra Dermatis, Breanna Bulllock, Savannah London, Marcus Dermatis-Wells, Megan Eberius, Josh Glendon.

Step Club's members gathered together outside the cafeteria. Bottom row: Nawal Adil, Cassie Patterson, Lydia Young, Profe Higgins, Katarina Lomis, Mackenzie Horton, Angela Lee, Myah DeRoche. Middle row: Kaia Barr, Abigail Wagner, Rejoyce Mgboji, Erin Lovelace, Learic Beatty, Adriana Brown, Nyia Spellen, and Hanna Soughou. Top row: Becca Moen, Kierra Dermatis, Breanna Bulllock, Savannah London, Marcus Dermatis-Wells, Megan Eberius, Josh Glendon.

Step Club's members gathered together outside the cafeteria. Bottom row: Nawal Adil, Cassie Patterson, Lydia Young, Profe Higgins, Katarina Lomis, Mackenzie Horton, Angela Lee, Myah DeRoche. Middle row: Kaia Barr, Abigail Wagner, Rejoyce Mgboji, Erin Lovelace, Learic Beatty, Adriana Brown, Nyia Spellen, and Hanna Soughou. Top row: Becca Moen, Kierra Dermatis, Breanna Bulllock, Savannah London, Marcus Dermatis-Wells, Megan Eberius, Josh Glendon.

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Between breaking stereotypes, promoting diversity, and bringing unity to the community, Step Club has had a massive impact on Patterson Mill High School. In times where ethnicity, sexuality, and religion often spark controversy, Step Club manages to connect the student body despite these differences.

Last year, two students came to Profe Higgins and former vice principal Ms. Hall to form a step club. Before they knew it, they had 18 students join. Through hard practice, it became a success, inspiring more people to join. “Being part of a diverse and well-connected club promotes cultural awareness,” says Profe Higgins, the director of Step Club. Profe and two captains: Erin Lovelace (10) and Rejoyce Mgboji (12) continue to pursue the goal of promoting diversity and unity in the community. This year’s Step Team consists of 23 students of all races, ethnicities, genders, religions, and sexualities. “We have all ethnicities represented,” Profe Higgins proudly stated.

For such a long time in the past, society has been separated by our differences and this has caused such prejudice. “There wasn’t anything like Step Club when I was growing up,” says Profe Higgins. There was an absence of unity in school communities for many people growing up. Profe Higgins had described how she believes this was in the past and she is just glad to be able to direct Step Club.

Unity is something the community has always been lacking, but now things are starting to change. Step Club is revolutionizing the student body one step at a time. The club was formed to promote diversity and that’s exactly what has been done. “Black, asian, white, latino, Muslim, whatever, you can learn the steps,” says Profe Higgins. Step Club has created a safe place for anyone to come and enjoy themselves while learning how to step.

Bringing unity is something highly valued by the club and many people feel it’s had massive benefits. “It has absolutely brought more unity to the school. I have never seen such a mixture of students who are not even embarrassed to be out here. They are just so confident and energetic,” says Erin Lovelace, one of the team captains. By having all types of people in one club with a common goal, they learn to work together and realize they are all the same. Member Lydia Young, described how “You have white, black, Muslim, gay, but nobody cares about that,” and many members have found that and begun accepting more and judging less.

When taking a look into the perspective of two white female members, we get to see another aspect of Step Club. Cassie Patterson and Lydia Young, two ninth graders in Step Club, both feel it has helped break stereotypes. “Some people may think, why are they in Step Club? They are probably no good, but then they see me perform and say, ‘Oh wait they are good,’” says Young. “It doesn’t matter how good or bad you think you would be; you’ll learn the steps,” stated Cassie Patterson. Step Club has helped show that anyone can learn to step; ethnicity, gender, and sexuality has nothing to do with your ability. It shows that stereotypes have no bearing on who a person is, which in today’s society is significant message.

“Step Club has shown diversity is important, especially in times like these,” says Profe Higgins. Many members of the club love that it is able to combine having fun and getting active by stepping, while also making positive social impacts. By promoting diversity, students start to feel more connected, and there is a stronger cultural appreciation all throughout the community. Cassie Patterson believes that, “Since people have seen us joining, they want to join too because they see anyone can do it.” When people see representation, they realize that it is possible for them to do things they didn’t think they could before. “There’s lots of different people and it brings people together,” says freshman member Nawal Adil.

In the future, Step Club hopes to continue to learn harder and better steps. They have already starting adventuring and trying out new moves and were met with success. When describing the members of the club, Director Higgins says “They catch on so fast! They really do. We are learning new material now and they are catching on so quickly.” When practicing on Mondays and Wednesdays after school, they are energetic and hard working. The aspiration for the captains of Step Team is to “bring energy and encourage the members to do better,” says Erin Lovelace. With this combination of intelligent and hardworking members and energetic captains, Step Team has been able to prosper.

Overall, Step Club has changed the community in ways that were never done before. It brings unity for people despite differences, promotes diversity, and breaks stereotypes. Step Club has brought people together and helped create a better school environment. The members have been working hard to inspire other students and clubs to unify and create a fun environment for people to express themselves. Although they have accomplished a lot, there is still more room for improvement. The club plans on continuing to learn more complex steps, and perform even better. Additionally, they hope to continue to motivate others club  and help normalize diversity. The overall goal of Step Club is to encourage students to get involved and try new things despite others judgement to positively impact the community.

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Step Club promotes diversity, improves community