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Chicago-Style Stepping, (also known as Steppin') is an urban dance that originated in Chicago and continues to evolve while defining its unique style and culture within the context of mainstream Swing dance. Chicago-Style Stepping has gained popularity, particularly in the urban neighborhoods of America. "Chicago-Style Stepping" makes reference to other urban styles of dance found throughout the United States larger enclaves in cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.[example needed]
Chicago-Style Stepping, affectionately known as steppin like most social dances started or evolved from the "Bop" in the 1970s. In 1973 Sam Chatman was the first to coin the term "Chicago Step", and has been widely credited with marking steppin's evolutionary transition from Bop. In other regions Detroit went to Ballroom Dance, New York started New York Hustle and Ohio went to Hand Dancing. The swing dance known as Steppin’ is a part of the Western Swing family the parent dance “Chicago Bop” may have been more Eastern Swing but Steppin’ has characteristic more towards the west; especially its usage of a lane or slot. Steppin’ has a 6 count basic pattern. Its tempo ranges 70 to 100 Bpm. Its basic rhythm pattern consists of a double and two syncopated triples. The patterns start traditionally on the downbeat of one. The leader’s footwork is started on their right and finished on their left. The follower's dance is naturally opposite. Steppin’ is danced within a lane. The term “Bop” was used to describe the dance form by Chicagoans until the early 1970s. Prior to that time “Bop” was a universally known term with its origin beginning sometime between 1945 & 1950 to express music and dance. The dance known as Chicago Steppin’ evolved from Bop and is more likely a derivative of Jitterbug. No published syllabuses exist for the dance. Chicago-Style Stepping gained a real foothold when a local radio station, WVAZ (102.7FM/1390AM).
R. Kelly's songs that featured Steppin' or Stepping helped move the dance into mainstream culture. The poor teaching and promoting skills of the community helped dissolve the gains of the R. Kelly promotion. The dance now has leveled off and is surpassed by other partner dance forms like New Style Hustle, Zouk, and Kizomba. The social dance is popular in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Texas, Atlanta. It's a mildly profiled social dance.
Jannice Robertson, Sam Chatman, Lady Tabu, Westide Mike, Ty Skippy, Josiah Burt, Drew "The Phenom" Alexander, Ann "Lil Taz" Goggins, Steve Johnson, Stoney and Toni, Pat Clay, Sue Sue Watson, "Rockin" Rodney Mack, Lady Margaret, Cheryl "Sugafoot" Powe, Sherry Gordon etc.
Chicago Stepping is a slotted style dance or as the community will call it a lane dance. The follower is typically kept traveling up and down the slot. Two action two one count cycle is the structure. Patterns like "roll out and rollback" describe the action on the slot or lane. The lane belongs to the follower and the leaders travel on, off and around the slot or lane.
The Hertiage Ball held by GDI on February 23-27 in Atlanta, Georgia. Champions of the Dance Floor held by Versatile on March 24–26 Dearborn, Michigan. The Black Out held by Jeff Clark on March 30- April 2 in Cleveland, Ohio. I Love Steppin held by Jeff Clark on April 28–39 in Dearborn, Michigan Stepaganza held by Word of Mouth Entertainment on May 23–29 in St.Louis, Missouri. The White Party held by Dj Rockin Rodney Mack on June 14–18 in Dearborn, Michigan. The World Largest Stepping Contest held by Pete Frazier. Date TBD in Chicago, Illinois.
- Kyles, Kyra (2009). "Taking a Step Back", ChicagoTribune.com. Accessed: July 24, 2014.