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Highstepping into history

Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | The Haughton High School Highsteppers rehearse in the school's gymnasium.

Haughton High’s danceline continues school traditions, history

There’s a saying in Haughton that once you’re a stepper, you’re always a stepper.

The Highsteppers are more than a team. They are a family, spanning generations and decades of the school’s history.

The young ladies taking the field this year are continuing the traditions set by many before them. Sophomore Kenzie Farquhar is the fifth in her family to be a Highstepper and she says this is the ninth consecutive year a Farquhar has been on the team.

Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Kenzie Farquhar is a fifth generation Highstepper.
Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Kenzie Farquhar is a fifth generation Highstepper.

“What I think is cool is when one graduates, another one makes the team,” she said. “It’s a cool feeling that all this started years ago and I get to part of it.”

With this being her first year, Kenzie sought advice from her cousins, Madison and Brooke Farquhar, on what it’s like to be a Highstepper.

“They have been the most influential,” Kenzie said. “They told me that you will remember the kick sequences forever and that the first year may not be your best year, but to stick it out. I’ve had a great year so far though.”

The team practices hard to master the kick sequences and push their individual flexibility to achieve those flashy, eye-level kicks. They spend hours working on routines, breaking apart sections of the dance by each count to ensure every member of the team has it down precisely.
Turns and leaps have been the most challenging for Kenzie to overcome. Fortunately, she’s on a team that’s not only there to help, but one that encourages and supports her through this journey.

“The team has helped me out so much and I keep getting better and better,” Kenzie said. “They are happy when you succeed and that’s the greatest part about this team. We are all happy and supportive of each other.”

Senior Kacie Wilkinson is a four year member of the Highsteppers. Wilkinson made the team as a freshman before the policy changed to its current 10th through 12th grade requirement.

Wilkinson said the Highsteppers are more like sisters. Their bond is something only they share and something made stronger with team traditions, like the prayer circle at the end of every practice and reciting the Lord’s Prayer before halftime performances.

Wilkinson’s favorite is when they sing the alma mater on the school bus when returning from an away game. That’s something she will never forget.

And then there’s the uniform. The Highsteppers have a very specific look about them. The satins (as they call them) are the traditional uniform. The skirts are double sided with school colors – line members wear red; officers wear white.

But who could forget those iconic high kicks, set off in synchronized fashion and in precise form. That’s what Payton Curry remembers about being a Highstepper, specifically the homecoming kick routine.

“Everybody in the stands could not wait until the homecoming game to see the traditional satins and kick routine,” Curry, a four year Highstepper and 2014 Haughton graduate, said. “That’s what was so cool…satins have been around so long that everyone knew once the satins were on, we were about to do a killer kick routine.”

Curry, too, enjoyed singing the alma mater on the bus ride back to the school. They would start at the corner store right before the school. She calls it one of the coolest traditions they have.

Curry is now a sophomore performing arts major at Bossier Parish Community College and a member of the Ladies in Gold danceline. Her best advice to the Highsteppers of today is simple – “remember to wear your satins with pride and keep the tradition going.”

“It’s been going on for 50 years now and the Highsteppers from that time might be out there watching you,” Curry said. “Keep the crowd entertained, always smile big and wear the brightest lip stick possible.”

The Highsteppers perform at all home football & basketball games and pep rallies and participate in at least one competition per year.  They have several events throughout the year in order to raise funds for competition expenses, including the annual Lil’ Steppers Clinic.

The team is sponsored by Aundrea Weinreber. Line members are Kacie Wilkinson (Senior Captain), Kaylie Couch (Junior Captain), T’Keyah Poole (Sr. Lieutenant), Paige Lowery (Jr. Lieutenant), Jasmine Carwile (Jr. Lieutenant), Brittany Western (Social President), Elaine Lloyd (Social Officer), Kaleigh Madden (Social Officer), Hanna Case (Social Officer), Brianna Chitty, Mackenzie Coffel, Kenzie Farquhar, Nicole Franklin, Katie Hay, Kylee Jackson, Chloe Lewis, Mollie Morris, Ainsley Osbon, Makenzie Rains, Randi Royal, Maddie Scott, Grace Teutsch, and Katelyn Waldo.

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