4-18-2016 Steppers Beat

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

Do You Feel It?

Written by Markie Bee on May 18, 2016.

There are a whole lot of people out there that can feel the essence of the dance -- you can see it in their attitude, the way they carry themselves and I know it's not their fault someone took advantage of them and sold them a bill of goods when they told them they were teaching them "how to step".

Some of the so-called instructors didn't know the dance at all but they saw a "financial opportunity" so they took advantage of their ability to bamboozle the masses. Others were uniquely talented dancers who could dance their ass off but couldn't teach.

Then there was "the count" there was the 3 count, the 6 count and the 8 count -- none were intended to be the center (or base) of the dance. They were tools to help large groups of people who couldn't understand rhythm and beat in music and correlate them to the dance.

Calling "the count" the base of the dance made doing the dance correctly impossible for thousands of people because stepping is based on a pattern of basic footwork and is essentially completely improvisational (using the basic).

Some instructors have incorporated other dances into steppin' (Elements of Hand Dance, Salsa, Detroit Ballroom, even Two-step have been reported to SteppersUSA through the years). Contrary to what some promoters may tell you -- the dance doesn't change as time goes on. If it changes, it's a different dance (remember a promoter is trying to make money off the dance so telling people the dance has to change with the times is self serving).

When a dance changes it becomes a different dance. What was done up to 2000 (approximately 1960's through 2000) was true, real stepping. Those who continue to dance like that are stepping. If you were taught with numbers as the base of your dance instead of using the pattern of the dance makes you a new skool dancer, not a stepper. Their dance is robotic and gets lost when they start to feel the music.

A stepper feels the music and reacts to the music and it shows in their dance (it doesn't take a trained eye to see either). It's actually an insult to the legacy steppers as well as the legacy itself when others try to "improve" the dance by adding other dances moves. Unfortunately, so many of those who teach the dance today neither know (or do they want to know) the history of the dance so when someone asks they (the instructor) make it up as they go. 

The job ahead is clear -- people need to learn how to dance without numbers, they need to drop putting other dances into steppin' and someone has to teach them through their example. If you don't feel the dance and want to continue on your non-stepping ways call your dance something else because it's not "Chicago" steppin'...

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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