Stepping into the future: Step team prepares for Stomp Wars
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A group of students at Ron Clark Academy are making their presence knows, one step at a time.
”I am here. That first step is pronouncing, establishing and setting it out,” said educator, mentor, poet, and artist, Susan Arauz Barnes.
“This is actually from the gold mines of South Africa. The African Gumboot Dance. That is where the art of stepping originated from,” said the Dean of Students, IT Director, and House System Expert at Ron Clark Academy Junior Bernadin.
Ron Clark Academy is a non-profit private school in South Atlanta. The school operates in a way that creates a community for students, educates, inspires, and informs; that mission continues with the school’s step team. The Essential Step Team at Ron Clark Academy is a five-time National Step Team Champion crew.
”We don’t just want our students to perform, we want them to understand the rich history that is associated with the art form that they do,” said Bernadin.
The students enjoy their time on the team but what they do is far deeper than a performance.
”Thanks to various fraternities and sororities they have created their own styles of Gumboot Dance and turned it into modern-day stepping that you see today,” said Bernadin.
The Essential Step Team is telling you a story; showing you a representation of past history, the present moment and the possibilities of the future.
”You want them to really feel empowered. You want it to be so young people understand that every time they walk into a room, they can actually change the atmosphere,” said Barnes.
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