Bainbridge-Hutto step team crowned Grand Champions with ‘Friday’ themed routine

Published 3:19 pm Friday, January 19, 2024

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The Bainbridge Middle School-Hutto Elementary School step team won the Grand Champion trophy at the Westover High School Winter Classic. They also were awarded the trophy for best step performance.

“We left Albany with two trophies,” said head coach Dee Perkins.

The team performed a step routine inspired by the 1995 classic “Friday,” starring Ice-Cube and Chris Tucker. Perkins came up with the theme idea and said he knew the audience would love it.

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“Most people have seen the movie Friday,” Perkins said. “We had the crowd’s attention from the time we walked on the floor to the time they got off… It had them saying the different skits with us.” 

Perkins said he wanted to bring originality to the 35-team competition to give his team a better chance at winning.

“I knew we were competing against so many teams that I had to think outside the box,” Perkins said. “When I watched the other competitors after we got done, it seemed like everybody was doing kind of the same stuff.”

The performance consisted of step team members reenacting famous scenes from the movie, with step dance breaks in between. Perkins said he had the dancers audition for each role and picked the person best fit for the character.

Eighth-grader Harmony Miller shined in her role as Ezal, according to Perkins. Miller reenacted a scene where Ezal fakes a fall in a gas station and threatens to sue the station for liability.

“She really won the audience over,” Perkins said. “They were laughing at all the scenes, but I felt it go through the roof whenever [Harmony’s] scene came up.”

The competition was split into three categories based on the style of performance— step, cheer, and dance. Each category had its own winner, and the team with the highest score across all three categories was crowned Grand Champion. 

Perkins said he was proud of his team and the work that they had put into the performance since they started in the fall.

Perkins said he couldn’t have brought his team through the winning weekend without outside help. Ty Aikens, a BHS alum and good friend of Perkins, paid for all of the team member’s meals after the competition. Perkins said Aikens is like an older brother to him and always supports the youth in Bainbridge.

Perkins said that if the team doesn’t have what they need, he’ll make sure they have it. Whether that be outfits, props, transportation, or food, Perkins said he wants his team to have it, even if the funds are coming out of his pocket.

“He sees a lot of the background stuff I do for my kids,” Perkins said. “He reached out to me and asked me what all I had left to do as far as the competition. I said, “Well, all I’ve got to do now is find out where I want them to eat and get their meals paid for…’ When I told him that, he said, ‘What’s your Cash App.’”