6-23-2015 Steppers Beat

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

A Message To The Old Skool

Written by Markie Bee on August 2, 2015.

A message to the Old Skool... If you keep it a secret if you hold back the new skool will change your dance for the worse and kill it. Please be accountable for your actions! The dance depends on you sharing the right things with the next generation. If you don't take accountability you can expect to be saying:

"That you dance too fast, you don't have any footwork, you all dance the same, you don't dress nice for the contests or the parties, you're Steppin not "Dancing," you do too many turns and spins, your music is too fast and monotonous, and I'm sure there are a few other things I've missed."

Oh wait that's what Terrance Pratt said and he's right you do say those things and he told the "so called New Skool steppers to continue to ignore you. I'm not going to continue on his line but I will say Hey New Skool don't ignore them watch and learn some stuff you might just get better on the dance floor.

I will not stoop to the position that it's young people versus old people. The argument is invalid. You can say a folk musician hates rock music but each is a different musical form. Big band fans may not like be bop but it's a different musical form. Steppers don't like what new skool thatís ok too because ITíS A DIFFERENT DANCE!!!

If the dance isnít the same as the original itís a different dance thatís plain and clear as mountain rain water. Remember I said that years ago and it's still true and I don't care if people get upset with me because you know in your heart that it's true.

The fact that there are only a few videos from the 1990's is only partially true. I once had a bunch but they were lost when my storage got broken into and they stole my shoulder mount RCA recorder and all the VCR tapes. But others were recording contests and there more videos that exist beside the three or four that people make public. I IMPLORE for those of you who have them please make them public so people can see what the dance is really supposed to look like.

Once people have a taste of what genuine original stepping is about they will find it's a complete dance where people can generate spontaneity with their footwork and moves and all off the basic pattern of the dance. None of this silly debate steppin' or dancing! There is no morphing from original to another more 'spinnery' form. Call it steppin' or stepping -- I really don't care about names.

Another truth we should understand by now is that the WLSC is not representative of Chicago steppin' it currently represents a way to make some money for the Majestic Gents by letting those of you who want to provide some entertainment for the audience at the Convention Center. Stepping's interests are not served since nobody gets eliminated. For those of you who are old enough -- think: Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour.

A recent article by Tracey Bivens made mention of the "fact" that numbers suggest there are between 5,000 and 8,000 steppers nationwide. If that's the case how can we account for TWO of SteppersUSA's groups on Facebook have OVER 15,000 members? I asked the same question in all of the SteppersUSA groups about how many people were NOT steppers (which turned out to be a very low percentage and they all also said they wanted to learn the dance).

The fact is there seems to be about 5,000 to 6,000 (approximately) that is not bleed over between just those groups. We also have a group with over 8,000 and other group with over 2000 and a page with over 5,000 all have some who are not members of the other groups. So just on Facebook I can safely estimate close to around 25,000 steppers or wanna be steppers in the fold. The number of steppers who choose travel may fit that 5-8,000 number however. That's the reality. Yea, I made it about numbers... so what!

I may have gotten some people upset with this missive but it's all true and I intend no harm to anyone here but let's deal with facts not hyperbole and comparing apples to bananas. New skool is a style of music not a dance but if you must talk it's another style and form of dance which may be loosely -- very loosely based on steppin' but it isn't steppin'. Just look at the facts. 100

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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