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South Phoenix step team teaching girls more than how to dance

Pretty Precise Dance
Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 13:34:59-04

PHOENIX — A mother and daughter in south Phoenix are using the power of dance to connect with young girls in their community.

Cheyanne James, alongside her mom Lateka Curtis, created the step team 'Pretty Precise' in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, starting on Zoom in August and moving to in-person in October.

"I had always had a passion to help kids younger than me, even though I'm only 20," said James.

The coaches are teaching the girls, ages seven to 17, more than how to dance. They're allowing them a safe space to express themselves and come out of their shells.

“Stepping gives you an outlet like if you have anger issues, anxiety, social disorders," said James.

"Not only shy, but the whole bullying thing," added Curtis. "We are not perfect, but we are definitely in there to show the girls how to be respectful, how to treat one another, how to communicate."

On Saturday, Pretty Precise is competing in a step competition in Missouri supporting children who've lost parents to homicide, something the team has experienced first-hand.

"We do have children who have lost their parents more recently," said Curtis.

That is why the women say they are serving as mentors to the young girls and are there to help anyway they can.

“It's not a requirement, but I do check the grades. I do have tutors on hand to help with them. I also have a child psychologist that’s available." said Curtis. "It takes a village, so we are our village. So, we are definitely holding them accountable for the decisions they make and giving them something to do instead of those things in their spare time, positive things.”

You can learn more about the team, here.