aims to bring the style and sophistication back into dancing. Our
mission is to introduce a new social form of dance called Chicago Step
(Steppin) to the rnb, hip-hop and urban soul scene in the UK.
What is Chicago Step? -
In Chicago, it is said,
“that as a child, you learn to crawl, walk, then step”
Steppin is a dance form
indigenous to the black neighbourhoods of Chicago; it is a derivative
of the Jitterbug and the Bop. Folk in Chicago have been Steppin
for over 40 years.
Steppers have their own
style of dress. The men's attire has the feel of Ragtime 2000, with
long suit coats, baggy trousers, hats, and ties in splashy colours. A
Stepping man will often have a matching handkerchief that he works with
to mop his brow as he spins his girl. The women's attire consists of at
least three-inch heels to accentuate her legs and a dress in a colour
to match her partner's outfit, fitted around the hips with just the
right amount of length and flare to add dazzle to her turns. And note:
the women never wear hats, but they do have their hair styled to match
the Steppin' attire and attitude. This is not done every time, but
people do go all-out when dressing for a Stepper's Ball.
Steppin is 'The
Jazz of Ballroom Dancing. For those who would like
to learn a dance similar to Salsa, but prefer the groves of Bobby
Valintino, Dwele, Peven Everet, Jill Scott, Angie
stone, R Kelley (Step in the Name of Love and Happy People)
then Steppin is for you.
Steppers dance smooth jazz, soul, funk, r&b, urban soul, rare
groves and a dash of Hip-hop. R Kelley's video “Step in the
Name of Love” is an
example of Steppin, with couples spinning and dipping. Watch the
dancers in the background!
Why Chicago Step? -
I am a father of two and
a school governor; I was disappointed in December 2004 to see 2 girls
aged 8 (same age as my daughter) booty shaking at the kids’
school disco. To make things worse, the little boys were standing
around them in a circle watching and jostling for ringside positions.
It was at this time I truly realised that the MTV-Base culture had
woven itself into our cultural fabric; I am determined to do
something about it.
The imagery portrayed in music videos is etching itself on to the minds
of our young children; our youth are so impressionable. What are we
telling them….are we telling them that it ok to do the 'booty
flick'……are we telling them that there is no
differentiation between sex and dance……..are we
encouraging them to follow…..or am I seeing something that is
not actually a problem; if so call me prudish.
As our boys grow into men and our girls into women, what will be their
values and expectations?
I frequently tell my daughter “you don’t have to dance like
that to be a good dancer”
I frequently tell my little boy (aged 6) ”if you see girls
dancing like that...then it’s not respectable”.
Many parents that I have spoken to seem engaged (covertly) in fighting
the same war. It is common to hear “My kids are not allowed to
watch MTVBase”, “I have banned MTVBase from our
house”, “My kids can only watch MTVBase when I am
It is for these reasons
that I have decide to hold Steppin lesson at Leopold School
(Hawkshead Road, NW10). I will work with the pupils, parents and the
community to create a cultural revolution. Please come along with your
partner, friends, brother, sister, mum, dad, kids....Dancing can be fun.
EVENTS | WORKSHOPS | GALLERY | CHAT | MEMBERS