I am a big fan of “Dancing With The Stars” and this season I’m cheering for Laila Ali & Heather Mills. In my opinion, these two ladies are really representin’ and add excitement to the show. As I was watching the show the other night, I could not help wondering what the contest would be like if Chicago Steppin’ were added to the repertoire.
What is Chicago Steppin’
Well, according to www.SteppersExpress.com, Steppin is currently one of the most popular aspects of America’s social climate. It is a dance consisting of two or more people dancing as partners in synchronization to a 6 or 8 count beat to musical sounds of Jazz, Soul, Funk, R&B, Neo Soul, or Rapp music.
With the popularity of the show “Dancing With The Stars,” couple dancing has seen a resurgence and Steppin’ has had the same effect across the nation. It was most recently popularized by R & B Singer R. Kelly with his hit song, “Step In The Name Of Love” and since then, parties and clubs have not been the same. There has not been a social event that I have attended in recent years that the DJ could not get everyone dancing with this song. Also, I am a firm believer that if a couple can establish non-verbal communication (which is essential with this style of dancing) then, the other parts of their relationship might benefit. And quite frankly, with divorce rates way up, couple dancing might help to bring back some much needed healthy partner dialogue.
Brief History of Steppin’
Steppin’ originated in Chicago’s African American Community and comes from dance forms like The Cakewalk, The Jitterbug, The Swing, The Offtime and The Ring Shout. In recent times, the dance has gained such momentum that clubs and all night dance sessions have been created by and for dedicated lovers of Steppin.’ Just the other day, I received an email from a Charlotte, NC based group called the PURPLE CHARLOTTE STEPPERS looking to begin weekly steppin’ sessions at a local venue, The Café Room.
How Do You Step
The exciting part about this dance, is that once the basic steps are learned, each individual can create their own style around it. So basically, according to the R.Kelly song, it goes a little something like this: “Step step, side to side, round and round dip it now, separate, bring it back, let me see you do the love slide.” If you still haven’t gotten it yet, feel free to check out the many websites dedicated to this dance form. They include (and are not limited to) You Tube, www.Clubsteppin.com ,a 24 hour steppin’ radio station or SteppersUSA.Com which is described as a national clearinghouse for all things related to Chicago Steppin.’ I believe there is even an Inside Steppin’ Magazine.
How Do You Dress For Steppin
I have learned that the style is referred to as Steppers Sharp! In other words, think zoot suits, ragtime, flappers and early 20’s chic which coincidentally is a period in fashion that I absolutely love!
Have I Stepped
Heck yeah! I love Steppin’ and after that R.Kelly Video with all those “Happy People” dressed in crisp summer white linen on the yacht, I could not wait to try it out. My first experience was a few years back at my daughter’s dance school where the parents where enlisted to learn the dance as part of the finale performance for the yearly dance recital. What a fun experience! Our Instructor was straight out of Chicago and smooth as silk. What’s more, Steppin’ not only looks beautiful, it is a great work out as well.
My Closing Statement
I hope that after examining my case for Steppin,’ the Producers of Dancing With The Stars, consider adding this wonderfully historic dance style to their line -up. Hey here’s the added incentive: Audience numbers will definitely go up because Steppin’ is contagious and has the unique ability to unify people.
Just listen to the last lines from the R.Kelly song “Love brought us together so keep on steppin! because
Love goin last forever! Clap in the name of love! Lets step out, hit the floor, deejays rockin it’s all for us, if anybody asks, why we’re stepin, tell em!!!….we did it for Love!”
Still not convinced
I submit this video at http://www.steppersexpress.com/contents.htm from a showcase in Atlanta featuring a trio of dancers which in my opinion exhibits true “Dancing With The Stars” potential. Not sure how to implement it, I say try it out on Laila & Heather…they can tackle anything!