P.H.A.S.E. 1 STEP TEAM
P.H.A.S.E. 1 founders Wayne Dawkins and Cherilyn Scobie were encouraged as educators to use their talents to engage youth. One such talent they both possessed was the ability to Step Dance. A dance form originated from the mining slaves of South Africa many years ago, involving coordinated claps and stops to create rhythmic beats. What followed was over two decade of teaching, and choreographing youth to perform Step Dance. Step Dance was implemented into many of the organizations co-founded by Dawkins and Scobie, such as P.H.A.S.E. 1, GrassRoots Canada(GRC) and the respective schools they taught at in the Toronto District School Board. The Step Teams were initially created for young women to participate in as a means of directing energy into a positive outlet. For the young women involved, being a part of the team became a life changing experience. It not only introduced them to the history and discipline of the unique dance form, but also was a vehicle used to encourage academic excellence, community involvement, develop discipline, and motivate youth to be confident individuals, as well as provide training in the art form.
A majority of the P.H.A.S.E. 1 Step Team was comprised of inner-city youth, who, during their high school experience, endured very rough beginnings. Many were frequent visitors to the principal’s office, academically un-sound, and underachievers. Their participation in the program gave them something positive to do, which not only helped their confidence, but also inspired them to achieve more in life.
The program was geared to building confidence, discipline, team spirit, and mature active living through the activity of Step Dance. This program has been proven affective all the young woman successfully graduated from high school and many have since graduated from post-secondary institutions.
“As a collective group, we all agree that if it were not for P.H.A.S.E. 1, we would not be in the positions we are in today. It is due to this, we felt compelled to share the gift with others…in hopes that it will touch the lives of others as it did for us.” - Chelsei Munroe