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Growing Valley dance team steps for a new audience

Pretty Precise Step Team
Posted at 9:57 PM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-12 00:24:06-05

PHOENIX — The founder of a Valley step team offered an outlet of expression for a growing dance style. The sisterhood is getting a chance to introduce a part of the culture to groups who may otherwise have never seen step before.

Cheyanne James realized at a young age that to step, you don’t need much. Everything needed to step, you carry with you every day.

However, to be ‘precise,’ you just need hours of practice.

“Originally, I wanted to quit because it was too hard,” said James.

It's a good thing she didn’t give up because when James and her mother, Lateka Curtis, moved from St. Louis to the Valley, they quickly discovered that outside of some middle and high schools, there aren’t many opportunities in the Valley to be part of a step team.

Mariah Washington, 13, joined the team recently.

She says her favorite part of step isn’t that the team just came back from a placing in a competition in Texas with a trophy, but it’s the sisterhood that keeps her coming back to step in rhythm.

“I feel really good, I’m happy they did this,” said Washington.

As founder of Pretty Precise Step Team, Curtis says some of the girls come to the team looking to socialize more and build confidence. Especially as many families had to home school students because of the pandemic.

“Everybody is different by the time they leave here, they're confident, they're able to talk, they're able to perform,” said Curtis.

The club has performed for dozens of local community events including the Fiesta Bowl. They were featured on a Good Morning America segment and two teams recently placed at a World Step Association competition in Houston, Texas.

This Sunday, the team is branching out to an audience that may have never seen step before – the race fans in Avondale for NASCAR.

Curtis says when the team was told they would be performing at NASCAR, many of the girls said, “yeah, what’s that.”

The opportunity to perform is a step in the right direction, said Curtis.

“Adding more diversity to the fan base, that’s the goal,” she said.

In the meantime, ‘Pretty Precise’ is committed to bringing the practice and confidence needed to bring home the hardware.

For the next competition, Mariah Washington said, “We’re going to bring home that trophy.”