2008-12-12 / Sports

Pepper Steppers Shine On Apollo Theatre Stage

By Elio Velez

Laa'Neisha Jones, Peter Alvarez and Katherine Rocha. Laa'Neisha Jones, Peter Alvarez and Katherine Rocha. The Apollo Theatre stage in Harlem has had many performers from well known singers, comedians and dancers throughout its long and illustrious history.

As coach of the Stan Pepper Steppers Double—Dutch group, Stan Brown knows the Apollo is an opportunity to showcase talents.

For the tenth straight year, Brown's group won first place in the speed category for the tenth straight year at the 17th Annual Double- Dutch Holiday Classic.

The teenage contingent of Laa'Neisha Jones, Katherine Rocha and Peter Alvarez for the third straight year captured top honors in the speed category. Over 400 jumps is required in the two two-minute test, in which only the left foot is counted, averaging three steps per second.

Teams throughout the country and from around the world such as Belgium and Japan have tried to upend the Pepper Steppers long winning streak. It hasn't happened yet.

"I don't want to pat myself on the back like that," Brown said about not trying to take too much credit about his team's performance. "Teams are intimidated by the presence of them being on the stage."

"And we just smile," said Laa'Neisha Jones.

The sell-out crowd at the Apollo Theatre can be a factor in terms of being an intimidating present. But the Pepper Steppers have the mindset to shun out the noise and focus only on jumping.

"The whistle blows and they just go. These are good teams and nothing to take away from them," Brown said.

"It's just a thing that the Pepper Steppers, in their speed, they are a cut above. They pride themselves in their speed."

The Pepper Steppers team members who performed at the Apollo Theater were: Laa'Neisha Jones, Peter Alvarez, Katherine Rocha, Alaisyia Woodard, Nadine Harrison, Jessica Berrios, Robeishia Davis, Jasmin Hamlet and Destiny Alvarez, Imani Clairsaint, Shamera Davis, Tiffany Duarte, Akeela Williams, Jason Pizarro, Deandrea Jordan and Camilla Ensley.

Coaches, Officials, Stage Helper, Assistant Stage Director and Chaperones: Stan Brown, Linda Brown, Yatte Brown, Carol Walker, Markeya Baskerville, Rudy Callender, Quianna Brown, Patrice Saunders and Lorraine Ramsey.

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