Showstoppers win latest competition


courtesy of Raheem Mitchell

Front Row: Lauren Nash, Camilla Santibanez, Lilliana Hudson, Wendi Ussery, Aryanna Merriweather, Ciandra Render, Marissa Reed, Tameia Nash Back Row: Karla Majano, Taylor Sumler, Tajai Mauldin, Trinity Cole, Paris Moore, Roneillia Wint, Sina George, Jasani Jenkins, Jerica Pritchett Collins, Kaitlyn Trammel, JaNya Prewitt

Roneillia Wint, Writer

The Showstoppers step team is not just known for performing at homecoming, basketball games and parades. They are a highly serious and competitive team.  At their latest competition, they placed first in the female division and captains battle Feb. 12, in Mansfield.

Stepping is a type of dancing that consists of footsteps, claps and stomping to create a rhythm and tempo.

“I was nervous, but when we got on stage, I wasn’t nervous anymore. It was fun,” freshman  Jasani Jenkins said.

The competition was divided into elementary school, middle school and high school divisions with  female, male and co-ed categories.

“I felt good. We did good,” junior Ciandra Render said. “We gave first place, and that’s what we got back in a trophy.” 

Everything is crucial to winning competition. 

“You have to have enthusiasm, showmanship, precision,” coach Raheem Mitchell said.

“You have to enjoy the show, not just step it. Once the judges see that they (team members) love it, that’s what comes off. 

At a previous competition in December, the team did not do as well as they had expected.  

 “I was disappointed in myself because of how I reacted,” captain Trinity Cole said. “I felt bad for the step team members because it was their first show.” 

The team practices until 5 p.m. almost everyday. They work on the routine, precision and vocals.

“Typically we start off with a warmup, and then we go through the show,” Mitchell said.  “We work on technique which consists of precision head pops making sure you are clapping under the legs, making sure the arms are sharp and crisp and definitely going over the lines.”

Captains are always ready to help whether it is with personal problems or going over the step.

“I guide them and help them along the way with their problems and issues, like steps that need to be fixed,” Cole said. ”I help them to make them feel confident within themselves, so they won’t be as insecure when they perform.”

Mitchell said he was pleased with the results.

“I feel very proud of the team,” he said. “I feel they did extremely well–did what they were supposed to do. I feel deep down in my heart that my team is a first place team.”