#SomethingGood: Dallas Team to Step its Way to National Championship

A group of local teenagers is in Georgia today with the goal of bringing home a national title.

The team is the only one from Dallas invited to compete in the 2019 National Step League Nationals in Atlanta.

"We're a small team but a very fearless team and that's what's gotten us to this national championship," said coach Randy Baggett, Jr. "We are the only Dallas, Texas team that has been invited to this competition, so it's definitely a big thing for us. We are going to represent not only Xplosive but the entire Dallas, Texas community."

Xplosive Grenades is a community-based step team started two years under the umbrella of the well-known Xplosive Dance Company based in Oak Cliff. The team practices in the gym of a church on East Ann Arbor Avenue.

The rhythm of hands and feet; stomps and claps are more than a dance. Stepping is a form of art.

"Your arms, moving your feet, trying to look at your arms, facial expressions, having energy throughout the whole entire performance," explained Asia Cornelius, 17, and team captain. "Coming to practice is a relief, like whatever is going on in the outside world, personal life, when I come to practice, I forget about it."

"It's a way to express any emotion you want through the art of stepping." said head captain Joshua Jordan, 18. "It's a way to let out the stress and it's fun. it's not only a step team but a family."

They come from other cities to pursue their love of step, and already with just two seasons together, they've stepped their way through win after win.

"Why success? I live by three words -- hard work, dedication and unity. That's what has gotten this team as far as it's gotten and we're thankful to be undefeated," explained Baggett, a self-taught stepper who got his start in Louisiana.

Baggett makes no apologies for the intensity he brings to his team.

"I'm a coach. If I don't see you sweating, I don't think you're working that hard," he said. "If you want that win, you have to work hard for it."

"He challenges us so we are better than what we think we are," said Cornelius who started stepping at the age of four.

The team of young women and men is committed to be the best for each other and themselves.

"Stay focused and motivated and have the courage to go out and not be nervous. Just be me and do what I do best," explained Cornelius.

"Just give it my all, just be extra. I just love stepping and any chance I get to showcase me," Jordan said. "Everyone brings a different flair to the team and it all works together nicely."

Jordan is in his last season with Xplosive Grenades. He will head to the University of North Texas in the fall, and credits stepping with getting him ready.

"I've gained a lot more discipline, confidence. It allowed me to step outside my comfort zone," he smiled. "I love projecting my voice and I love putting it all out there."

They'll put it all out on the line Saturday in Atlanta a seven-minute routine they hope has the right combination of creativity, complexity and surprise to make Xplosive Grenades the best steppers in the country.

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