b'Photo credit: Anna Herbst PhotographyStepping withSeth Boyden StudentsBuilding cultural awareness, community, and confidence through an African American art formBY TAMI STECKLERS etbackfromthetrafficonBoy- classroom. There they learn about the importance ofthrough a combination of footsteps, spoken word, denAvenue,betweenthebustleofbeing stewards of the earth, the rich history of theclaps,andcallandresponse,participantscreate Springfield Avenue and a quiet resi- land they live on, and the beauty of cooperation andcrisp, clear rhythms and sounds that are literal mu-dential neighborhood, sits Seth Boy- teamwork. Its an experience that works because it issic to the ears and salve for the soul. According to denDemonstrationSchool.Desig- enriching at its core and teaches without the use ofMaxine Lyle, the founder and co-director of Soul nated as a magnet school in 2000 tosmart boards or traditional classrooms. Steps, an arts organization that showcases African meet the particular needs, both edu- Withthatknowledgeathand,plusafacultyAmerican stepping, Step is an art form with a deep cational and otherwise, of a diverse student popula- that cares deeply for its students, and an active PTAcultural legacy that started in the United States on tion, the school serves children from kindergartensearching for ways to enhance everyones experience,college campuses one hundred years ago and in all through fifth grade. Utilizing a multiple-intelligencein2019thethen-president,ElizabethEvangelistathat time it has served as a means of expression for approachtolearning,thefacultyandPTAoftenand Susanna Einstein, the assemblies coordinator,young Black America and diverse communities and worktogethertoprovideinterestinginstructionalbegan exploring options. After investigating variouscontinues to be a powerful platform for social and opportunities to the approximately 450 students. possibilities they landed on the art form known ascultural empowerment.One such example is the bountiful garden locatedstepping. Seeing both the cultural and instructional ben-behind the school, which provides students with anStepping is a form of percussive dance in whichefit of bringing stepping to Seth Boyden, with the extraordinaryeducationalopportunityoutsidetheonesentirebodyisusedasaninstrument,andassistanceofdevelopmentchairAlisonPoe,and 28/ matters magazine / school 2022'