Step Squad Hosts Master Class

Photo by Marja van Mierlo/The Choate News

Step Squad leaders Zara Harding, Donessa Colley, Shamari Harrington, and Tiffany Lin lead a dance in their classic ensemble.

Every time this group performs, the Choate community is immediately stunned by their talent and precision. Everyone stops and stares at the Timberland boots and fierce facial expressions. This past year, the group has already impressed the Choate community with multiple performances, most notably during Pep Rally and the Winter Festival: this is Step Squad.

This past week, the presidents of Step Squad organized a Step Masterclass to teach their members a short routine that would be performed at the basketball game. One of the leading choreographers was Madi Epstein-O’Halloran ’18. For several years, Epstein-O’Halloran has been at the forefront of the dance scene here at Choate. She says, “It was so fun to see the steps finally come together and everyone understand it. It’s a pretty iconic step so people were pretty excited to learn it.” She added, “I think it was a cool moment for people to see themselves doing a step they had watched before.”

Kamsi Iloeje ’19, who has been a long time member of Step Squad, led the choreography. She said, “My favorite moment was the first time everyone managed to do the step together. Everyone was cheering and smiling, and it felt really energetic and lively in the room.”

Another participant was Mila Hill ’21. Hill has had a significant presence in Step Squad, spending this year honing her stepping skills. However, she has not learned one of the most important choreographies. She said, “Even though I am in Step Squad, I hadn’t had the chance to learn the ‘Let’s Go Choate’ step we performed today.” She added, “Being at a Step Masterclass to learn and not teach was really interesting. Everyone at the Masterclass was really excited about learning one of our steps and picked it up really quickly.” However, learning the steps was not her favorite moment of the Masterclass. Hill said, “My favorite moment was probably when we all performed the step together at the end of the Masterclass. I always love when it all comes together. There’s something about the synchronicity of the steps and how the beat flows that always makes me smile.”

Trista LeBlanc-Serbyn ’21 is a newcomer to the Step scene. She, like Hill, is a prominent dancer in Step Squad. She said, “My favorite moment was at the beginning of the master class. It was great to see all the people who wanted to come and participate and were willing to try something new.” She added, “A lot of people seemed skeptical at first, but nevertheless, everyone was willing to reach out of their comfort zone and learn the step.”

No matter how awkward, the result of the Masterclass stunned her. She continued, “My other favorite moment was the first time that we all did the step correctly and in sync. It looked and sounded amazing, and you could tell everyone thought so by the huge smiles on their faces! Everyone was just radiating pride and it really made the class worth it.”

As one of the presidents of Step Squad, Shamari Harrington ’18 has big plans for Step Squad. She said, “Our goals as a Squad are to be more active on campus this year, to get the school more involved in what we do, and to share the culture and art of step more.” At the same time, she acknowledges what the club has achieved. Harrington said, “We believe that we have made tremendous progress in accomplishing these goals as we had our first appearance in the Holiday program and will appear for a halftime show this weekend.”

Step Squad has already conquered 2017 and this year will be no different.

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