By Caroline Jacoby ’22
Shayla Williams, a guest dance teacher, taught dance students a style known as stepping on Sept. 22.
Williams used to work in the Admission Office, but left two years ago and now works for her own production company. She used to be a dance performer and specialized in step dancing, which she started when she was in school. Williams continued stepping all the way through college and was named captain of her school team. Williams has been teaching step dance classes a few times a year ever since dance teacher Joe Schenck learned about her step experience through a faculty dance team for Spirit Day.
“[The class] was a terrific experience for all of our kids to learn something that I don’t really know anything about,” Schenck said.
Step dancing, a type of dance that dates back many centuries, is a style largely based on footwork and other patterns, creating a rhythm without music. The methods of footwork, including stomping, clapping and kicking, are used to pace the dance and keep the rhythm. Though stepping has been a part of African American culture for many years, it is most commonly seen in styles like tap or Irish step dance. This traditional type of dance is not usually a part of dance curricula at the school, so several of the students said they learned something new.
“It was super fun and really interesting, and the fact that step has been around for so many centuries is really amazing to me,” Cory Porter ‘22 said.