At the district’s 28th annual homecoming parade, dozens of parade watchers lined the streets as twelve Winton Woods Middle School students moved with confidence and in sync down Winton Road. It was their first performance as the Winton Woods Middle School step team. The group was started in September by Head Step Coach Amari Scott who wanted to create a space for students to express themselves and collaborate. “This is a sister and brotherhood,” said Coach Scott, who also uses practice time to talk about social skills, how to prepare for high school, and shares history. “Before people had music, their bodies became their musical instruments.”
During the week, students give up their evenings to learn new steps, chants, and majorette. Assistant coaches, Tayshawn Elliot, a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, and Kyjuan Glass, founder and captain of the Blazing Diamondz dance team, help with technique, stepping and building a team environment. “I am very proud of them,” said Scott. She has hopes of entering step competitions and for the students to continue stepping when they are in high school.
Seventh graders Monica Walton, Rodney Smith, and Antonio Lindsey said they all enjoy being on the team. Walton waved her hand in the direction of Coach Scott. “And we have the best coach.” When asked how they heard about the team, Smith said he loves dance and was informed in math class. He later told Walton who also joined the team. “Word got around fast,” said Smith. Lindsey heard about it and was later invited by the head coach. “It is like an outside family with internal support where we can connect,” said Lindsey, who only knew a few people when he joined the team but now says “We care for each other.” Currently, the WWMS step team is scheduled to perform at middle school sporting events and pep rallies.