*Across the city of Woodland Hills, people are cheering the success of a group of high school students from El Camino Real Charter for winning the National Youth Step Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This is an outstanding accomplishment because California is notorious for not having the same abundance of quality step teams as areas in the southern or eastern states in the United States.
Despite the geographic isolation, ECR Step, as they have been calling themselves, has shown real dominance and took first place at 2019 Best In The West National Youth Step Show Competition Saturday, April 27, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada and qualified for a spot in the National Step League Championships at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA later on this year.
However, students elected to attend this year’s BET Experience obtaining a spot performing during the BET Teen Experience (at the Staples Center) and at the Celebrity Basketball Game. The team elected to do the BET Experience rather than attending the NSL Championship.
Students from all over Los Angeles attended the El Comino Real Charter High School, and in the Cultural Awareness Dance Class, they learn about the history of stepping, its roots, how it was created as a way of communication in Africa and its re-emergence with the African-American Fraternities. They learn how to step in class and those on the team practice again after school.
El Camino Real Step program (ECR Step) started in 2017 at El Camino Real Charter High School and allows students in grades nine through twelve the opportunity to enrich their high school experience by offering athletics, discipline, leadership, performance, and self-esteem all in one program.
Taking the world by storm, ECR Step started off all girls but now it’s co-ed, requires a 2.2 GPA from all students involved with the team, and has plans to continue its western regional domination.
“Someone might think that it is all black, but it is multiracial,” adds Fluke Fluker, Faculty Advisor for the team. “It is richly diverse.”
ECR Step has had the opportunity to perform at high-profile events such as the African American Leadership Organization Breakfast with Mayor Garcetti, with members of LA City Council and California Congressional leaders in attendance. The team also performs at local basketball games, school assemblies, college fairs, and competitions.
The ECR Step Team took 1st Place at the Black Diamond Step Competition in Los Angeles at the Jesse Owens Park, 3rd Place at the 2019 Black College Expo, 2nd Place at the Best of the Bay Step Competition in Oakland, CA and most recently, 1st Place at the West Coast National Step Competition where they qualified to compete in Atlanta, GA at Morehouse College at the National Step League Championship. ECR Step will be the only high school step team to represent the state of California.
“Each team member is educated regarding the history of steps,” explains Jamal West, one of the two coaches for ECR Step.
“We also educate our audiences about the history and the origins in Africa as a way of communication in the mines,” adds Coach Evan Coleman.
Fluke Fluker is a lead faculty member of El Camino Real high school’s step team and the Co-Founder of The Village Nation. The Village Nation is a non-profit which provides the opportunity for African-American students to have outlets such as the Black Student Union and the step team which allows them to collectively strive for excellence and student success.
The Village Nation is sponsored by the Will and Jada Smith Foundation that focuses on unlocking African-American Students inner genius and has found real success mentoring a winning step team.
The next event in the Village Nation will share with the community is on May 18-19, where parents and students focus on the topic of recognizing the 400 years since our ancestors arrived and ships in Jamestown, and the 40 years it has been since the desegregation plan LAUSD initiated by seeing students from Los Angeles inner-city to the San Fernando Valley schools.
At this event, students will get to go to Kevin Hart’s production studios ‘Dream Magic Studios LA’ in Canoga Park to learn how to make a documentary film.
Check The Village Nation website for details.