Davenport High Step Team Makes an Impression at Regional Debut

Davenport High Step Team Makes an Impression at Regional Debut

Photo of Davenport High's step team

A group of students from Davenport High are leaving a big footprint on the step world.

Last weekend, Lakeland played host to Stepmetheus, an event billed as one of the biggest and “most anticipated” step shows of 2023. The competition drew more than 1,400 people to Kathleen High and featured middle and high school step teams from throughout the South.

In terms of experience, the squad of girls from Davenport High — the DHS Steppers — were outmatched. They had mainly performed at school events and never competed on a regional level before.

“We have only been stepping for few months,” said Tyeisha Robinson, a DHS teacher who leads the step team with fellow teacher Robert Bell.

Stepping is a form of complex, synchronized percussive dance that is rooted in the culture of fraternities and sororities at historically Black colleges and universities. Robinson and Bell are both veteran steppers and alumni of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

The teacher duo saw the popularity of stepping among students in the Lakeland area, and thought it would be a good fit at DHS.

“I wanted to bring something different, and stepping is different,” Robinson said. “It brings culture and diversity to the school, and it allows teens to express themselves through music, dance, words and much more.”

The DHS step team has only been around for about seven months. The girls have mainly performed at athletic events and other school functions; Robinson says they have “done a phenomenal job, being that most of them have never stepped before.”

The DHS squad landed an invite to Stepmetheus from event organizers T.B.S. (Taken By Surprise), a prestigious Lakeland-based step team that has won championships at the national level. The DHS Steppers did more than show up — they took home second place overall in the high school girls division.

“It’s just amazing how these students performed,” Robinson said.

In addition to honing their techniques, Robinson said that she and Bell also expect the girls to maintain their grades, keep their behavior positive, and prove that they are dedicated, respectful and disciplined.

“As our team progresses, these qualities will follow our steppers throughout their high school career and life journey,” Robinson said. “We also would like to make sure we are making our principal, school and community proud of us. We are here to build and leave a legacy.”