New step team at Decatur Central High School teaches girls about much more than dance

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new dance team at Decatur Central High School is teaching the girls participating much more than just dance.

The team was created this summer. It’s a combination of girls that make up the spirit team, which has been around, and the step team, which was created in June.

“Honestly, some of the young ladies have been approaching me cause I have a community organization called G3 Steppers and they’ve been asking me to come and work with them for the last year,” said Laverna Tracy, who helped start the team.

“Some of these young ladies were not involved in any activities at the school and I know what an asset it can be to have something, extracurricular activity along with school so they can have a successful year here,” said.

So on some Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the 19 girls on the team can be found preparing for each week’s football games in coach Rhonda Adamson’s classroom, combining jazz moves with step.

“Step is more of what we call Greek style, you see a lot of that in the fraternities and sororities in the colleges,” said Tracy.

“Stepping is really, really fun, it’s a good stress reliever, too, cause you step and you shout and you scream, and people think it’s normal,” added Denise Jones.

Jones didn’t have much experience with step when she became the captain of the team, but quickly fell in love with it.

“Just the rhythm, it’s not something, you don’t have to have music to do it, you can just do it in the middle of Walmart, you can do it anywhere, it’s just really neat,” she said.

It’s when she’s dancing in Adamson’s classroom through, where she’s using dance to lead.

“I feel like this has really given me a leadership role,” Jones said.

“That’s why we’re so proud of them for stepping up for something new and sticking to it. That’s a life quality that they can take with them, once they start something, they finish it and they work hard at it to become great at it,” Tracy said.

The are learning life lessons with each step they take.


BP scholarship announced for PNW engineering students

WHITING, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — BP America Inc. (NYSE: BP), which employs approximately 1,800 workers at its oil refinery in Whiting, is underwriting a scholarship for engineering students who attend Purdue University Northwest.

PNW announced the establishment of the BP scholarship fund for incoming students who intend to major in civil, computer, electrical, or mechanical engineering.

“BP has a long history of supporting STEM education throughout the Northwest Indiana region. We are proud to partner with PNW to offer these opportunities to local students and to play a small part in supporting their continued success,” said Amber Russell, Whiting refinery manager.

The program will award fifteen, $1,000 scholarships starting in the 2020-21 academic year.

Only future engineering students who live in Whiting, Hammond and East Chicago are eligible. The 1,400-acre refinery is primarily based in Whiting, but it also stretches into the other two communities.

“We are excited to offer students from high schools in our immediate neighborhood access to an engineering education enabling them to improve people’s lives,” said PNW School of Engineering Director Dietmar Rempfer.