Chicago Steppin In Memphis
By Dana Royal Dana Royal Reports

My "Mega" Weekend in the Mecca

Written by Dana Royal on October 18, 2017.

Last weekend I set out to load my mommy break with as much stepping as my thirsty days. While there was no "Mega Weekend" scheduled I didn't need one in my neck of the woods.

The Friday plan was to show some love to DJ Eric "ET" Taylor at his birthday set, followed by a visit to the East of the Ryan night club. But Thursday evening I discovered Legendary Original Stepper Tony Dow would be in my neighborhood sharing his knowledge of the dance. No worries, I can handle 3 events after working all day.


The Tony Dow Workshop was hosted by Byron Rollins at Sugars Bar & Grill in Calumet Park. I learned that Byron hosts a weekly practice session for immediate steppers there. How cool is that? He occasionally hosts workshops with special guest instructors for a minimal fee. Jannice Robertson (Legendary Original Stepper as Well) treated everyone to food, dance perspective, and recollections.

Next stop, ET's birthday set at BR Steak Bar in Country Club Hills. This was my first time at this venue, but I believe the location had other lives. The layout is primarily a restaurant and bar but it had a dedicated, groovy dance floor (check out pic) in the back and strong fans to keep you cool. I understand the party kicked off a weekly set with Eric and DJ Phil Good. Best wishes guys!

I left Eric's party around 12:30am (technically Saturday) determined to make up for my extended absence from East of the Ryan. Fridays are rarely free for me and my recent ones have been with DJ Cross at University Park Golf. When I rolled up on 79th street The East was apparently packed and parking while doable was a stretch for me to hop, skip, and jump at that hour so I decided to fold and make it my first stop next time. I can see from the trending FB pics that the good times rolled.

Saturday afternoon I visited Charnice Simmons dance studio which happened to be down the street from my son's day care on the south side of Chicago. People in Your Neighborhood! Ambassador Kevin Nevels kept feet to the floor and there was generous sharing of food and refreshing beverages (Thanks, Symone :-). I was compelled to stay for 4 hours.

I mostly linger on the south side but variety is the spice of life so the Saturday evening plan was to hit the west side at JLM Community Center with The Best of Friends and DJ Vell. But by 7pm I was out of reserves so I settled on an IOU for stepping on the west side and resolved to Netflix and Chill.

Sunday I would redeem my Saturday evening by visiting The Dorchester in Dolton with Just Us Productions & True Steppers Connection followed by Hero's as the after set... but I exhausted my energy on household projects all day. D___, D___, D___! (In my Florida Evans voice)

All the best intentions to make myself a "Mega" Weekend but life doesn't always work out like you plan. Thankfully, I reside in a place where I can make it a loaded stepping weekend whenever I'm ready and even mix and match the experience. Chicago! My Kind of Town!

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