The raucous sounds of cadences, calls and boots stomping the ground fill auditoriums, stadiums and arenas. Audiences sit enraptured at the coordinated movements of step teams, fierce competitors who train for their moments in the spotlight. Historically the domain of African-American fraternities and sororities, step teams offer a way to enjoy exercising, socializing and a link to the past all wrapped up in one fast-paced activity. You need not go Greek to participate in a stepping team; start your own by hitting the ground--loudly.
Learn at least one stepping routine so you can start stepping at the first team meeting. Find step instruction through free online tutorial videos, DVDs or take a short course such as those offered at Palm Beach State College, separated out by experience level and age range.
Get the word out to your intended step team audience. At New York's Martin Van Buren High School, for example, step team organizers list their group on the school's clubs and organizations page along with times and places to attend meetings.
Distribute fliers at step team competitions in your local area--check colleges, universities and fraternity/sorority websites for announcements. Although many attendees at stepping competitions are already team members, fans and audience members may be so swayed by the spectacle that they want to find a team for themselves.
Determine how many steppers you'll want on your team. This number is critical; although there are no requirements or restrictions to step team members, you'll want a number that works well together as well as people who'll take the team seriously and with responsibility. Remember that the more people on the team, the more schedules to coordinate. You may want to recruit alternates, people who study and practice the routines with the group and are next in line for competition spots.
Delegate responsibility throughout the team. Even though you're starting the team, you'll want to shift responsibilities in areas such as choreography, uniform coordination, scheduling and step coordination to others so you're not overwhelmed, and so other team members feel invested as well.
Enjoy the team for what it is--a group of people with the same love of stepping. Take time out to get to know each other outside the practice room, such as traveling to see other step shows, going to local concerts and spending time with each other's families.
- Tufts University: A Brief History of Step
- Creating Christian Stepteams: The 5 Basics to Start a Step Team from Scratch
- Palm Beach State College: Summer Youth College 2011 Wednesday Course Descriptions
- Marvin Van Buren High School: Clubs & Organizations
- Creating Christian Stepteams: Team Building Exercises and Tips to Develop Team Chemistry