The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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Stepping into the spotlight

ABC 7 News highlights LT Steppers in feature article
Steppers perform for students and teachers at All-school Assembly on Feb. 9 (Klos/LION).

To be a successful dance team takes energy, attitude, and talent. From a viewer’s perspective, Steppers provide the school community with energetic dance and incredible energy. From inside the group, steppers is its own community entirely, stepper Jaya Brown ‘24 said. 

On top of the coordination and rhythm that’s prevalent as an aspect of the dance, the group work also requires a tight knit environment and emotional vulnerability that many have held close to their hearts over their years of involvement.

“When you’re on the stage all your emotions come out at once,” Brown said. “If I’m angry, I’ll start stepping. If I’m sad, I’ll start stepping. You have to be unified, and creativity is an aspect too. To actually do a step, you don’t necessarily need to be super balanced or anything like that. You just need to have a heart for it.”

The camaraderie that the group shares shines through on the floor, where the team regularly competes and places in regional competitions, even qualifying and placing second in nationals during their 2023 season, Brown said. Recently, ABC 7 News featured the team in an article overviewing a recent competition, giving the group a larger platform to share their love for the dance.

“It was so cool to be able to just talk about the love I have for the sport and how hard it is to work [on] and do,” long time steppers coach Tamiaka Killins said. “I think people think it’s easy sometimes. It’s not. All the exercise you’ve gotta do, and make a facial, and be an actor or actress—it’s just really tough. And [to] keep your grades together. All that is tough.”

Though the recognition from a large news organization is an inspiring success in its own right, some of the most powerful moments for the team were ones that went somewhat unrecognized outside of their group.

“One of our achievements that I’m most proud of was at the Downers Grove South competition,” Brown said. “Even though we didn’t place, I look back at that video and I’m actually in awe. It’s like I’m a proud mother. I loved it.”

Anyone who’s passionate for the dance can become a stepper, and participation is encouraged for all students, Killins said.

“We’re the only group in the school that has that much culture,” Killins said. “And some of it is deeper than just race, ethnicity and heritage. Some of us have different religions. Some of us have different socioeconomic backgrounds. Some of us are very wealthy; some of us struggle just to eat.”

Alongside the mass cultural diversity present in the group comes a sense of communal love and pride matched by few extra curricular activities, Killins said. The students have left more than just the audience speechless since the creation of the club in 1999.

“The [most moving] thing that I’ve ever seen in my entire life is when my mother passed away,” Killins said. “Two of my steppers, who aren’t wealthy, found a vehicle, found a way to come to the wake. Those two came through the door, and I just broke all the way down. There are no words for how amazing steppers are. They give me life, they check on me, they care for me, they make me tear up sometimes, they bring me joy unlike anything I can ever see.”

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Aero Gartner
Aero Gartner, Opinions Editor
Carrying on the legacy of opinions editors with a Mitski obsession

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