CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Not one, but two local step teams took home national championship awards at a competition in New Jersey.
The Iconz and Lady Iconz won the national step competition, the first time both teams took home the top prize in the same year.
Jalyne Turner is the “step mistress” for the Lady Iconz and has been involved for the last four years.
“Stepping is basically making rhythmic beats with your hands and your feet,” she said. “But it’s way more than that. You have precision, transitions, facials, stunts, dances into it to make it like a whole production.”
Normally, most high schoolers would do football or cheerleading as a sport, but these students say step team is so much more than the performance.
“It’s what came with the team that made me love it,” she said. “I actually love it. The sisterhood, the brotherhood, community service, like learning adulthood, life skills.”
Joseph Jones is the president of the Iconz Step team and says he’s learned a lot in the last year with the team.
“Being humble, never to underestimate anybody, give everybody the same equal opportunities, and the biggest one is to practice what you preach,” he said.
Turner’s mom Lydia gets emotional talking about it the positive impact the team has had on her daughter the last four years.
She’s been a team mom for three years and has seen firsthand how much heart the coach puts into making sure every member of the team is doing OK.
“And he’s able to put the pieces where they need to be put to help them grow and get out of the situation they may be in at home,” he said. “And it means a lot to me to see that.”
Coach Shawn was awarded coach of the year at the awards on May 29, but says he normally likes to stay behind the scenes.
He brings speakers in to meet the kids and teach them life skills from budgeting to professional development, something kids say they takeaway even after they graduate from the program.
“When I lay my head down, I know I have a purpose on this Earth,” he said. “And my purpose to me is to serve our youth. That’s just, what I’ve been doing since day 1.”
Each team was awarded a $4,000 check at the competition, which will help cover some of the teams expenses for wardrobe and housing.
What matters most to everyone involved though is the sense of community they get as a part of the team.
That’s what makes them iconic.
Learn more about the team and see some of the different community service events they do through their Facebook page.