Clubs and activities in high school get kids involved in aspects of school that are different from everyday classes, and there are many to choose from.
Recently there has been a certain organization that has re-emerged where kids can find their home and shows school spirit all at the same time. According to Step Team coach Vetta Manning, the Step Team has been an on again off again program here at Lee’s Summit West for over three years and has recently been brought back into the light.
Seniors Te’Air Carruthers and Antanae Lee decided this year was going to be the year Step Team were coming back for good. “Me and Antanae were like we have to do something our senior year to make it more fun like take our senior year out with a bang,” Carruthers said.
Carruthers said starting the team back up and getting Vetta Manning, previous step team coach, on board took some convincing.
“When people don’t understand something they make all kinds of stereotypes and assumptions based on what they’ve seen in the past and I feel like last time we were, that’s what happened we were taken the wrong way,” Manning said.
But once Manning was on board and Jeremy Hubbard, athletic and activities director, agreed the step team was back. And for the girls involved it gave them more than just an activity to do after school. “it’s a place we can be ourselves and have fun along with having rhythm and using beat and stuff like that while having a family type situation,” Lee said.
Carruthers said one of the biggest aspects of Step Team is the culture it’s able to bring. It’s able to fuse black, white, latino, and many other cultures together. “west has many different cultures so I hope all the cultures can come together and we can all unite and make west even more fun than it already is, and kind of transform it a little bit,” Carruthers said.
Not only is the team able to involve culture, but it gives the people in it a place of their own. “We’re all pretty goofy but we also know when to get serious, so for the most part it’s all laughs and fun like there’s no drama or anything like that,” Lee said.
Also, Manning said it’s a team where the people in it can expose other students to a culture and passion they wouldn’t normally see in their everyday life. “They can see it and experience it so when they do go to college and they see it they know kind of what’s going on and understand all different kinds of people,” Manning said. “It gives them an opening and place where they don’t feel as welcome as they should. They feel like it belongs to a minority culture of the school, and it gives them a sense of pride.”
The team not only gives the people involved a place where they can be themselves, but it also gives them an outlet where they can show their school spirit. “We Have a group of kids at this school who really want to be apart of school but they’re not traditional dancers or cheerleaders and they don’t have the training to get into those programs,” Manning said. “Even though the cheerleaders and dance team are at the games you still need someone in the crowd getting it krunk.”
Manning said the Step Team will be a group of people dedicated to pumping up the crowd and getting them excited at the games in addition to the 12th man, dance team, and cheerleaders.
Having a step team at West will be able to give the school another sense of Titan pride. “I hope in continues on for many years, and for it to be another tradition for West even though I know we already have a lot I hope step team can just be added to that list of traditions,” Carruthers said.