Goodbye Archonettes: Step team changes name, philosophy

By Madison Roberts
Staff Writer

This year, for the first time, the Northwood step team is no longer called the Archonettes. Northwood students, along with the help of their adviser Yanique Walters, created a new organization called STANCE Step Team. The student generated acronym STANCE stands for Students Teaching Awareness and New Cultural Expressions.
The name is not the only change the team has had this year.  STANCE Step Team is no longer funded by or in any way affiliated with the Zeta Phi Beta sorority, which supports teams across the country.
Club president Alexis Fearrington said that STANCE changed from Archonettes to involve male students.
“We were wanting to get guys more involved this year and we wanted to branch off and do more cultural things,” Fearrington said.
Dante Cobb, the only male member of STANCE, said he enjoys STANCE, but he wishes that more males would join.
“I like how we come together to step and do community service activities,” Cobb said. “It’s fun because I’m used to hanging around all girls all the time, but then again I want more boys to join to make it more neutral.”
Freshman Malika Guess said that having a male team member impacts the group’s playlist.
“Sometimes, the types of songs we do are not appropriate…. It’s kind of weird because he’s the only guy but I guess it doesn’t really matter; he’s part of the team.”
Fearrington said STANCE is now focused more on volunteering, as opposed to just focusing on stepping.
“We’re more focused on community service hours with STANCE; it’s more of a club rather than a team,” Fearrington said. “You can join STANCE just for community service and/or to step and perform.”
Senior Marisa Mckissick, who has been on the step team since freshman year, says STANCE has helped her grow as a person.
“It helped me step out of my box,” Mckissick said. “Normally I wouldn’t have gotten in front of everybody at a pep rally. I like that you can be a part of something that helps you grow.”
Despite being the only male team member, Cobb said that STANCE has affected his high school experience for the better.
“It makes me want to keep my grades up and do more community service,” Cobb said. “I feel like I’ve learned how to work better with friends and I’ve learned more communication skills and how to be a better person.”

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