We thought we had "drama and controversy"
The way some steppers cut at each other and the drama that comes out
of those "run-ins" is the stuff legends (urban legends mostly) are
The battles between the different sides of town, one gang versus
another back in the day and settling it all on the dance floor were
the stories I've heard and for that matter continue to hear as time
There's another battle shaping up for the steppers community and
this one's for the hearts and minds of the community itself. We all
know there's been a conscious effort made to broaden the reach of
other dances at the expense of the steppers community.
We've seen it shape up through the years and recently with the line
dance community having impact on the weaker steppers organizations.
(Remember this column and website is all about the promotion and
perpetuation of Chicago style stepping).
The ability of promoters to "keep their eye on the ball" is most
important at this juncture because other genres of dance have their
eye on the steppers market. The inability of some promoters,
party planners, and instructors to build a strong enough base to
provide a steppers community in any given city... it shows when the
events loose focus.
If we are steppers and claim to be steppers why would we want other
dances in a steppers set? This can be done at a different time and
venue that doesn't go under the name steppers. If they aren't
going to keep it as a pure steppers party they shouldn't
call it a steppers set, or steppers party, or steppers event
because anything else isn't stepping.
I've heard steppers through the years complain how the dance has
gotten off point. I've heard people say the changes in the dance are
necessary for its survival. As I survey the situation I will agree
with the first statement but disagree with the latter. More Below
Once you change a dance in any way it is no longer the same dance.
There are no high velocity continuous spins in stepping... that's
something you see in Salsa or other popular forms of urban ballroom
dancing... but not in genuine stepping. You will see an occasional
spin but you'll most likely see a turn long before you see a spin.
I've been told if the dance doesn't make adjustments for the new
style of dancing (which is nothing more than another form
of dancing) it will go the way of the dinosaurs. I really don't
think so... and if it is to be so, well that's OK (at least the
dance will be what it always was smooth, elegant, eloquent and
You want to dance a different dance? Do you want to promote a
different dance? Then do it elsewhere under a different name...
don't call it stepping or steppin' because it's not! Don't bring
another form of dance into the steppers arena. Line dancers have
their own parties, Hand Dancers have their own parties, and
Ballroomers have their own parties. The music generally isn't the
same most of the time and each dance is different. Let's keep it
that way by not trying to homogenize all these dances into one
Genuine stepping is unique and it branched off of the Chicago Bop.
We need to move it back toward its pure form and that can't be done
by selling out... by letting other forms of
dance pollute stepping.
How often have you gone to McDonalds and ordered a Whopper with
onion rings? Yes it's happened but you're not going to get that at
Mickey D's. Think about that the next time someone wants to bring in
more than the traditional maximum of two line dances to the steppers
set or if they want to start dancing any other form of urban
ballroom dancing at your steppers event.
Like the song says, "Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby."
While we hurt, We're moving...
Until we hear the reason from the coroner we don't
know what caused Whitney Houston's death. People are jumping
to conclusions when they shouldn't.
The only thing we know for sure is one more
beautiful voice is now silenced.
I'm not going to go at any length on this issue because I think the
best way to honor Whitney Houston's legacy is to
listen to her music. Last night there was a posting frenzy in
Steppers music group of her songs. I posted the Steppers song of
the day along with the full length
Biography video to watch.
What I will say is the dance needs music and without it we're just
tapping our toes on the ground. It's the anchor which the dance
works off of. Whitney Houston's music made us move physically and
emotionally. As the song says "Only the good die young."
This has been the Pre-Valentines weekend and there were quite a few
Valentines Day dances and parties and there are a few more before
the weekend is over. So be sure to check the events calendar. This
is the time knowledge of Walking would come into play.
I was listening to someone at some point in time as they were
explaining stepping to someone who was a dancer from (I think it
was) the East coast. While describing the dance they also mentioned
steppers are competitive by nature, probably more than almost any
dance you'll come across. Continued
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