It's funny how things remain the same. #steppersbeatcolumn
I hear so many people say, "let's keep (get the
dance back to) the way it was." Not to mince my words or fence sit
in any way, I partially agree with that emotion.
When a dance is choreographed (even informally) and set to a
particular pattern perhaps there should be some gate keepers. People
who hold true to the original dance as it were when it first morphed
from the bop into what they called stepping.
It's definitely different from anything 99.9% of the instructors are
teaching today as I've been told. It was a "couple's dance"
(starting dancing with male with male) as I've been told but I have
also been told what I described was what was called freestyle
(starting with the tag being introduced at the WLSC and still is by
It's a long stretch from the bop as done in Chicago but nonetheless
people say thatís what stepping was and they want to bring the dance
back. These dancers say there is so much misinformation out there
about the dance, so many "bad instructors" out there that are
turning the dance into a bunch of BS.
They don't like the counting systems, or the constant spins... they
just can't tolerate them because that's not what the dance was.
That's what I've been told. Somewhere in the vast expanse of time
somebody from Chicago started to travel and they brought their
knowledge of what they thought was the dance to other cities. That's
what I've been told.
These people in need of a steppers fix started to teach other people
how to dance this unique Chicago styled dance even though they may
not have had a full enough knowledge of the dance. That's what I've
been told. This happened in many cities starting in the Midwest and
eventually spreading to cities like Atlanta, and Los Angeles. That's
what I've been told. More Below
Some profit minded individuals around this time of expansionism saw
some opportunities not only to make some money but to teach these
people and possibly expand their knowledge of the dance (I would
Now I've been told it turns out many of these instructors who went
out on the workshop circuit really didn't teach the dance
(completely or correctly) and after many workshops the people
stopped coming because they weren't learning anything. Apparently
there were some good instructors who traveled the workshop circuit
(at least that's the way it was explained to me).
In Chicago there were people who came to watch others step and they
learned by watching and eventually got on the floor and started to
dance. These individuals learned more of the dance as they continued
to dance with the steppers of the day. These steppers of the day
allowed someone to dance the dance and they told them to make the
dance their own so these new dancers improvised... and they were
told they were good dancers!
Now I don't know if they were taught with one of those 'dreaded
counting methods' but these dancers started spinning their partners
instead of giving them the occasional left or right turn. It did and
continues to make some people mad because they say all that spinning
isn't part of the dance (as they knew it) and they wonder where the
Even back then they were saying they should take the dance back.
Perhaps improvisation may actually be wrong... perhaps someone was
wrong when they said make the dance your own. I guess the term
owning the dance has a whole different meaning for each individual.
Perhaps the dance has an identity that can only be done "properly"
by a select few people only in particular locations only in Chicago.
Is it identity or insecurity? I don't know.
I do think people who step should learn how to DANCE. It really
doesn't matter how they learn. It could be on the streets or it
could be at the Fred Astaire studio but people should learn how to
dance before they try to step. Quite possibly, that could be the
thought behind the term you should learn how to walk before you
learn how to step. I don't know!
There is nothing wrong with the classic steppers dance and it will
always be as it should. In 2012 there are classic steppers and there
are steppers who improvised and added their own flavor on top of the
dance. It's been like that for over ten years now and although I'm
sure you're not asking me... that door has been knocked off its
hinges and smashed to bits. You can't lock the barn after the horses
are already gone.
Nobody has to accept the fact... It just is. This is a modified and
updated column from last year which was modified and updated from
the year before. Notice how things change but stay the same?
Some thoughts on the passing of a queen. #steppersbeatcolumn
With today's loss of Donna Summer music lost yet
another bright star. Her influence on the world of dance was large
because not only did she appeal to the disco crowd but her musical
influence ushered in a whole new way of dancing to the rest of the
world changing it forever.
She had that crossover appeal many artists can only dream of having.
Her version of the song "Love
To Love You Baby" had a sensual sound to it that even the people
who claimed to hate disco loved is a prime example of her appeal to
more than the perceived niche she was associated with.
Long time DJ Steve Breeze Brewer said in a post in the Steppers
Music Group; "May you R.I.P. she helped usher a new style of music
that changed the dancing habits of the world. The great Donna
Summer... As a DJ I will always remember playing that long sensuous
To Love You Baby." He's referring to the extended version of the
song which ran 13 minutes long. (The link I'm pointing to has both
the short and extended versions in it) I remember some slowed down
remixes of the same song years ago.
Continued and Comment
Have something on your mind? Need to talk to Markie Bee? With Google
voice (A REAL phone number) you can call me directly (from the United
States only please) For FREE. If I'm available, I'll call you right
Daily News and SteppersUSA.Com are both
daily publications which update continually. We accept and
publish Steppers classes and workshops, Daily events, weekly events,
monthly events, special events, steppers news, requests for
information which we can't answer but our visitors may have an
answer to. All of this makes us the most complete listing of
Steppers information available anywhere. Send your submissions to us
and send your pluggers/fliers to
TODAY! If you would like your pluggers/fliers to be posted with
your event on the calendar,