Student steppers ‘Show Off & Show Out’ at competition in Prospect Heights

Dozens of middle and high school students stepped out Saturday to compete in the 2nd annual Show Off and Show Out step competition in Prospect Heights.
Twenty teams from the tri-state area packed Prospect Heights High School for a chance to win first place.
The teams created unique routines that highlight the art of step. It was the first competition since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Some students said the sport of step forces the entire body to feel each beat.
"It's tiring. I be on the stage for 10 minutes. It's full body energy," said step team captain Deinaycia Gordon.
Steppers like Gordon said it is more than just performing but an opportunity to learn what it means to work as a team, build leadership and allow themselves to become creative.
"It clears my mind, it helps me get my aggression out. Step is one of the most things that help me have fun," said Unity Queens Steppers alumni Desiree Pilgram.
Some step coaches said it is important for their students to show off their skills to the community. They said the competition represents the importance of practice and why one should perfect their talents.
"When you have a passion for something, you have to keep feeding it because what you feed, it's going to want to give back to you. Being able to teach them a routine and see them execute it and be proud of themselves or not, to do great, and still learn how to pick up the pieces and go harder on the next practice, feeds that in me," said Unity Prep Charter School head step coach Alley Olivier.
Some of the students said step is often overlooked, so having a place for them to compete is the ultimate prize. They added that step is a sport and it is time for the world to experience its creativity.