4-19-2016 Steppers Beat

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

Make Them Accountable

Written by Markie Bee on May 19, 2016.

You learn where your feet go before you applied a count to it so where's the problem? That's right someone showed you where to put your feet and THEN put a number on it. The only people who may have a problem with that are those who can't understand the rhythm and beat in a song as it applies to dance.

It's only a temporary fix for learners who need remedial help. Your instructor should be able to teach you without using numbers. If everyone looks alike on the floor at the same time they're not steppin' they're marching to the music -- where's the originality?

Marvin Woods said in a comment to my last article; Markie Bee your article is on point. It's time hold this Chicago style stepping instructors accountable. I have seen Miss Hadiyah Al Sudan videos that she posted on YouTube. And it's totally different from what I am learning. They are dancing in a flow not turning or spinning their partner continuously in their dance. So I realized that I am doing something wrong or not been taught properly how to dance Chicago style stepping. Can't wait to make my trip to Chicago and see how it's really done.

Denise said in her comment; Great article. The count does help you learn, however now that we've gotten up to an 8 count, all the turns look the same and seem to occur at the same time within the dance. I miss the pre-2000 steppers.

So once again all I have to say to the count teachers; When are you going to start to teach stepping? You're teaching something other than the original dance. If you don't think the dance is cool enough for you (as it's supposed to be done without a count) perhaps you should give the dance you're teaching a name because it isn't stepping.

I've been watching this dance devolve over the last 20 years and the biggest reason I can see for this is people making shortcuts to learning the dance basic pattern by using the uniform counting system. People want to step -- if they wanted to march they'd join a marching band or the military. What are you teaching beside numbers?

There are a very few that teach some history of the dance (assuming it's not something they made up) -- even less teach people about etiquette on the dance floor. As I watch it appears many of these instructors know more about other dances than stepping and confuse people by adding salsa and ballroom and swing out to their so called stepping lessons.  

Stepping classes should have genuine history and etiquette as well as the pure original dance taught the same way as it was before the classes with the count arrived on the scene. Just name that other dance something else. REAL genuine steppers can carry the tradition.

Getting ready to go to Stepaganza! I'm leaving on Tuesday and will be there for the entire week. Hope to see you there. You can't beat FREE!

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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