HARRISBURG, PA - The West Orange High School boys step team placed fourth at the 2017 National High School Stepping Championship held in Harrisburg, PA, last month, hosted by Step USA.

After qualifying at the regional competition held at West Orange High School in February, the boys prepared for their appearance at the nationals. The theme of their performance was "The origin of step, via way of Africa" and included the accomplishments of the West Orange team, incorporating its first-place National Championship win in 2012.

Stepping, also known as step dancing, is a form of percussive dance often performed in military-type formation. Teams perform synchronized movements and dance steps to tell their stories, using their bodies as instruments. Hand claps, footwork, and the spoken word help to create complex rhythms and sounds.

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Elements of gymnastics, break-dancing, tap dancing, marching and African and Caribbean dance are also utilized. The roots of step grew out of street dance and historically African American fraternities and sororities over the past fifty years.

The West Orange High School boys and girls step teams are nationally recognized, award-winning teams noted for their talent, messages and attitude. All high school students are welcome to join both the boys and girls step teams.

"The boys performed a fantastic show," said team advisor William Farley. "They received a cash prize of $500 competing against teams from Maryland, Indiana and Missouri."

This year's step team captains are William Louigene and Tyreek Voltaire.