The Highsteppers have been a part of The Woodlands High School since the school first opened its doors. Since then, the team has become a mainstay in our community and works hard every year to continue the tradition of exemplary team-dance and high personal character exhibited by the teams before them.
The Highstepper organization was formed in 1976 at McCullough High School by founder and director Kathy Harlan. Mrs. Harlan came to McCullough from Washington Jr. High when the second school in the district opened and the first splitting of schools occurred. She is the pioneer of the unique Highstepper style that is 46 years strong. Her backgrounds in gymnastics and synchronized swimming are the basis of the unique precision and technique that form the Highstepper style.
The Highsteppers are the one constant from the original McCullough High School campus located in The Woodlands. The uniform, designed by Mrs. Harlan, has remained the same since the beginning. One of the first experiences every new Highstepper has is learning who will be her "big sister". Senior Highsteppers are paired off with new members to help them with their transition into the organization. Each "big sister" provides her "little sister" with small gifts throughout the year - some fun - some long standing traditions like the towel dancers use to warm cold bleacher seats during football games.
Our Legacy and Mission
Part of the original uniform which is still used to this day, the Highstepper "shoe" was an original green and white saddle oxford that was discontinued in the early 90's. Mrs. Harlan figured out a way to keep the shoe by having white leather Keds made to resemble the oxford using green leather and custom manufacturing by The Woodlands Shoe Hospital. Over the course of her time on the team, each Highstepper will purchase and wear multiple pairs of the Highstepper shoes. Between practice, performance and competition, it is considered normal for each dancer to go through several pairs each year. It is a tradition for dancers to wear their shoes until they literally fall apart. At the end of each year, graduating Seniors pass down shoes to younger team members as keepsakes. While they would seem to have no value, to team members they represent the hard work, sacrifice, success and camaraderie and committment each of them experience together as Highsteppers.
A testament to the longevity and consistency of the Highsteppers is the fact there are mothers, daughters and sisters who, despite the difference in years, have shared the same Highstepper experiences. There are many in the stands who have the unique pleasure of watching as younger members of their family follow in their Highstepper footsteps. The uniform, the practice, the teamwork and of course, the shoes - are as much a part of the Highsteppers today as they were years ago.
The Highsteppers are a non-profit, performance based organization. The primary purpose of the team is to provide daily opportunities which instill good life skill habits, self-motivation and responsible choices to assure future success in the areas of personal, professional and social growth.