The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

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NSTEP makes big moves on campus


It is well known that Westmont is a liberal arts institution. With that being said, the school supports a variety of clubs, teams and groups dedicated to the fine arts, with dancing being one of them. 

Camilla Escalante is a third-year student majoring in sociology. She is from the Bay Area and started her dancing career when she was five years old. She grew up in competitive dance and also served as the captain of her high school traveling dance team. With years of experience, dancing plays a big part in Escalante’s life and her identity. Escalante is now starting her third year on NSTEP, with this being her second year as captain. 

NSTEP is the official dance team at Westmont. The team’s goal is to “facilitate a fun space on campus where people can come together and express themselves through movement.” Escalante further emphasizes that, “NSTEP becomes a space where you can build relationships with new people and share the experience of working together before performing for the school.” 

For Escalante NSTEP is much more than ‘just a dance team.’ She recalls her first dancing experience at Westmont as a freshman. Without expecting much, she participated in a dance workshop. Immediately after walking in, Escalante remembers experiencing “this feeling of belonging that I feared I wouldn’t find. That sense of belonging seemed to find me that first week of school through NSTEP.” As many students experience imposter syndrome and a lack of belonging, this was something special for Escalante. For Escalante, dancing and NSTEP as a whole is, “a safe haven when I need a break from all the noise.” She spends extra hours aside from practice in the dance room. Dancing is an out from all of her stress and burdens. She says, “Once you lose yourself in the moves and have fun with the songs, I always leave refreshed.” 

She also points out that this year will be different from previous years. In prior years, NSTEP stuck to their official performances, whereas this year, Escalante is hoping for NSTEP to perform on campus for more events. She says, “We’re hoping for more involvement during the holidays, and collaborating with other clubs on campus to perform with. For example, during Halloween events and hopefully Christmas as well.” 

As the focus shifts from Escalante to NSTEP, “the team prioritizes being a safe space on campus where they embrace individuality and expression through movement.” Many saw their hard work come to life at Midnight Madness. This is the behind the scenes of the love and commitment the dancers dedicate to NSTEP. Escalante shares, “We put in a lot of work in order to show up and show out at the performances and honestly, we have so much fun doing it.” Westmont has a lot to look forward to from NSTEP and they, in turn, have much more to show us.

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