Chanessa Fant was a wide-eyed middle-schooler when she first stepped into stepping.
She was enthralled by the unusual form of percussion that uses the body like a drum to create rhythmic beats. Feet, hands, arms, legs, chest—all have a role to play. It was a love she fostered through high school, but when she came to Xavier in 2010, her stepping came to a stop. Xavier didn’t have a step team.
So she decided to start one. She began collecting signatures in her sophomore year, forming bylaws, writing a constitution and seeking approval from the Student Government Association. By October 2011, Fant’s dream became a reality with the creation of the Blue Fire Step Team, and for the past two years the team has slapped, clapped and stomped into a tightknit group.
“We became a small little family,” Fant says.
The team now performs in competitions, both on campus and off. This spring it performed in Know Your RHole: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, an art, fashion and step show honoring Earth Day sponsored by Sigma Gamma Rho.
The team also uses its creative blend to serve others. For instance, it went to the Boy’s and Girls Club in Cincinnati and taught the children how to step before bringing them onto campus and preforming a show together.
It was Fant’s chance to inspire wide-eyed middle-schoolers—and bring her story full circle.