Two young women create step team for the youth

New YorkCommunity
Collaborator: Rahkiya "Rocky" Brown
Published: 08/19/2020, 10:43 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(BINGHAMTON, N.Y) Two young women have set out to give the youth in their community something positive to do in their free time. Amnery’s Rodriquez and Akilah Briggs-Melvin have started a step-dance team consisting of children ages six to eighteen years old. Step-dance is a form of dance in which the participant uses their entire body as an instrument to produce rhythm and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps. This is a tradition that is rooted in competitive dance rituals practiced by African American sororities and fraternities. Founders say the team is centered around more than just dance. It will act as a mentor program to the children as well. Together, they plan to provide both emotional and financial support as best they can. A huge priority is to ensure that children stay on a positive route to success all while knowing they have a support system behind them. “As young girls we were given the opportunity to be apart of a step team of our own which provided us an opportunity to develop ourselves under phenomenal leadership. That is exactly what we will do with our team.” Briggs-Melvin said. “The overall goal is to give back the opportunity that was given to us” she adds. Currently, the team consists of eleven members, both boys and girls. The team will meet for weekly practices to prepare for future performances. Right now, there are two coaches, but founders are holding interviews for more mentors for the program as well as one final audition. An exact date for auditions will be announced soon.


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