5-29-2015 Steppers Beat

The Steppers Beat - Some News - Some Opinion - Some Dish
By Markie Bee The Steppers Beat

My Stepaganza 2015 Experience

Written by Markie Bee on May 29, 2015.

Stepaganza week was amazing! Those of you who missed it really missed out! Every event was planned and in spacious locations without the need to do much traveling around to get to the venues. It was as promised and then some.

One thing I noticed that was different this year was the fact some (more) folks brought their young ones with (and some not so young ones too). All that started me thinking about another aspect of the broad appeal Stepaganza brings to the community at large.

The week long event is drawing more than just the grown folk all the other large scale events have been drawing and I think that's important on many levels. Families that step together -- hmmmm? So much to consider.

For me Stepaganza week started on Tuesday at the bookstore with the Men's workshop which filled the place up with mostly people from St. Louis who were ready to take in as much as Keith Hubbard could dish out. I have to tell you it wore me out. I hit the pillow hard after that evening and was up early for that next busy day.

Wednesday we saw Iary, Delores and crew go on local television with the Fox Affiliate where there they did a stepping demonstration. (The video can be seen on the SteppersUSA Facebook page). I ended up spending a good part of the day in the lobby of the hotel as people started to arrive from all parts of the country.

Now I'm not going to give you a day by day breakdown of my experiences -- I believe others like Ayesha Gallion, Samuel Parker, and Shirley Floyd can give you plenty of perspective of an event that just seems to be getting bigger and better with each year.

People were steppin' in the hotel lobby keeping themselves (and others in the area) entertained in this magical dance. I met too many people and saw so many old friends there's not enough space to mention here.

There was so much going on Saturday it's hard to find a place to start. Let's see there was golf early in the morning for those so inclined, games competitions in the hotel, bowling at the lanes, and a big picnic in the afternoon with more competitions at the picnic.

They did honor steppers with lifetime achievement awards (I was amazed when I found how expensive those awards were -- they ain't cheap).

They split the main event(s) with a concert upstairs featuring the former lead singer from Blue Magic and the Awards and the steppers party in the exhibition halls downstairs. They added more tables and the place was still packed.

Sunday was my opportunity to go to the second party at the casino. The rooms (we had 2 rooms) and they were beautiful. Dark wood finish real wooden floors throughout. For me the sunken dance floor was a drawback once people filled in to dance because it limited shot opportunities.

I also didn't like the fact that when you order food at the vendors at the casino you can't bring it in with you to the party. That might just be me. It took them 20 minutes to make my food and then I had to eat it outside of the rooms missing some of the party.

Sunday's closer was better attended than I thought it would be. I always feel a little melancholy at the end of this event (wishing it could keep going on). But I found myself on the train on my way back to the windy city. There's another story from that point and once I'm able to, I'll tell that story.

SteppersUSA is  looking for people who can tell the story to the nation...
I'm looking for staff from Chicago, the East coast (Atlanta, Central Florida, North Carolina), the mid west beyond & including Chicago (Detroit), the west and  on the west coast (San Francisco/Oakland and Seattle). If you take photos -- that's great but it's not necessary (perhaps you know someone who takes photos at the set -- even with a camera phone) we are looking to keep the country informed about the world of steppin in your area.  Shoot me an email!

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