Channelview’s team ‘The SWAGG Boiz’ are making their own beats on stage!

CHANNELVIEW, Texas – An award-winning team in Channelview are lighting up the stage – and social media – with their impressive processes!

The SWAGG Boiz, which stands for Steppers Working to Achieve Greater Greatness, consists of dozens of boys in elementary and middle school. In December, SWAGG Boiz won the Grand Champion title at the Step Show in Dallas, a competition that included step teams from around the country. They also competed in Atlanta.

Their trainer, Ryan Shanklin, says: “I describe walking as a complex beat that uses your hands and feet to piece that beat together to create sound. “And they tell a story through rhythm. Their bodies become that instrument.”

Shanklin, who has taught many boys at the school, first founded the group three years ago.

“There’s not a lot of teams stepping in the schools around Houston, and so I thought, let’s be different. Think outside,” he said. “I took a couple of guys to Texas Southern University for a show. And once they saw how exciting it was and how things were going at the show in Greece, then they say, okay, do this, do this!”

For these young strides, the team isn’t just about training and competing, it’s about building friendships and confidence.

“On stage, I’m not scared anymore. At school, I usually just shut up, don’t talk and make friends, but it helps me come out of my shell more,” said La’Keith Bryant, captain of the team. SWAGG Boiz.

“I like the bond between me, my brothers and my coach and it’s a good friendship that we have.” Bryson Sims, another member of SWAGG Boiz said.

Shanklin is delighted to see their talent – and their brotherhood – develop further.

“As soon as the curtains on the stage opened, they turned into a different person,” he said. Channelview’s team ‘The SWAGG Boiz’ are making their own beats on stage!

Dais Johnston

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