8 February, 2023
Atholton High School has stepped back into an activity and is ready for it to make its return. Janelle Codrington, a sophomore at Atholton, is forming a functional and powerful step team to represent the school. This team is being built for representation and empowerment, as well as to bring on a powerful performance wherever they get together. Codrington has plans and expectations for her team, she wants everyone to be ready to put in the work to make this team’s presentation the best it can be.
Codrington has made this team because she wanted to display Atholton’s diversity and create a safe space for performers. “Everything that we do requires us to put the most effort into it,” said Codrington. She’s going to show just where hard work will put this team when it’s time to take the stage. She said that “the most exciting thing about performing is when you are doing the breakdown part and the audience gets surprised about the amount of talent and work that got out into the show.” Codrington is ready to show Atholton the power her team can bring. “This team means that this school is moving forward into a more diverse environment and more educated people in the African American community rather than stereotypes.” Codrington stands by this point in hopes of seeing more diversity start to flourish within Atholton High School and other schools across the county.
Step is much more than a performance. The purpose of a step team is to empower women in the black community, as well as women as a whole. Step performances consist of stomping feet on the ground, clapping hands, dancing and a lot of deep powerful voices. The words these girls chant are intended to boost the confidence of their team members and the audience, which is why they need to be loud and powerful at all times. As a group, everyone supports each other in a very strong sisterhood, everywhere they go they go together. Step was created not only to represent women and sisterhood, but to preach for diversity in school communities. As Codrington claimed, having multiple step teams in Howard County schools means that the community is moving in the right direction when it comes to racial diversity, supporting students of color and fighting stereotypes, as well as celebrating the differences and the beauty in each other’s culture.
“I love that it’s making a comeback. I remember the old step team and how crazy the school went for them whenever they performed, so I’m really excited for them to come back,” said Mrs. Stackhouse. This proves the excitement that the step team brings to all their events. “I love having this group of women working together and lifting each other up.” Thanks to Mr. Thompson for being the faculty sponsor for this team, Atholton High School is ready to have the new group take their places on the court by holding interest meetings and helping the word about the team reach more students.
Atholton Basketball halftimes are expected to be much more entertaining now that the Step team is taking the stage to perform and bring the energy to the crowd. The work and planning is all being put in to keep this team coordinated and ready to present all they have learned and in practice and from each other. They expect to hear the voices of everyone in the crowd cheering when they step on the court and represent their team and their school with a powerful performance.