Seminole High School is known for our football, swimming, and Dazzlers, but one of our most iconic groups is often forgotten: Seminole’s Finest Step Team.
The Step Team is made up of a group of powerful girls that dance to their own beats, literally. Borrowing components of hip hop in their routines, stepping uses the dancer’s whole body to create rhythms that they dance to through clapping, stomping, and chanting.
“My favorite step is bucking, which is a low squat that we clap and dance to,” senior Amaya Palmer said, a two-year Step Team member.
The Seminole Step Team not only teaches girls to dance, but also to be responsible and build good character. The drive for self-improvement starts from the very beginning with a rigorous multi-day audition process and strict requirements. For example, all of the girls must maintain a 2.5 GPA and go to all rehearsals.
“Our auditions happen in early August where we have to learn a dance and do lots of conditioning. Then the next day, we have to perform in front of three judges and they decide if we make the team or not,” said sophomore Alex Johnson, a first time member of the Seminole Step Team.
Practices consist of a lot more than dancing. In order to prepare for rehearsal, the ladies work out by running around campus and stretching before the dancing officially starts. The chants and claps also have to be learned at rehearsals.
“It’s hot and tiring, but is a sensational feeling when we practice. It’s a real sport, and it’s hard work,” said Johnson.
The Seminole’s Finest is more than just a school dance team; it’s also a competition group. Competitions are the main focus of the team after football season.
“My favorite part is when we go to competitions. They are mostly local, but we have also been to competitions in Tallahassee. Competitions really bring us closer together,” said junior Keisha Blackmon, a three-year Step Team member.
Female empowerment is a very important message for the Lady Noles Step Team. Self expression is really important to all girls and the Step Team allows them to explore their identities through rhythm and movement.
“We are a large sisterhood. We are always there for each other and we try to keep it positive. It’s motivating to be a part of this group,” says Johnson.
The chants and numbers are new each year, but they always include the Stroll: the sassy and girly strut at the end of every performance.
“My favorite line out of all of our chants is, ‘To be a Finest, you have to step like a Finest,'” Blackmon said. “I think it means that in order to get our steps right, we have to become one and be confident.”