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Monday, December 18

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Performance Thu Dec 10 2009

Steppin Into Love

Chicago's rich dance culture is already serious business, but "steppin," a ballroom-esque dance style that is uniquely "Chicago," is very serious business. It is so serious in fact, that those immersed in the culture see it more than just dancing--they see it as "a way of life."

Steppin (no "g" at the end) originated in Chicago and has grown nationwide. While it never really went away, it experienced a major resurgence with R&B singer R. Kelly's 2004 song, "Step In the Name of Love." It comes as no surprise then, that a stage play would be dedicated to the art form and its roots in Chicago culture.

Steppin Into Love is a play about three men who re-join the dating scene and decide to meet potential mates at a steppers' club. Of course, the seriousness of steppin will be seen throughout the play. According to recording artist/actress Sylvia Fedrick who plays "Shirley," "The seriousness of steppin will definitely be touched on; it is for the hardcore steppers who take the art of stepping very seriously." In order to avoid contempt from those serious steppers who will no doubt carefully scrutinize the play, Fedrick admits, "Some of us actors actually had to take steppin lessons so we wouldn't be ridiculed so much!"

The play is not just about showing off the fancy footwork and smooth moves of stepping; it is also about how culture can really bring people together. Here is a clip of steppers in action:

Steppin Into Love runs Friday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 13 at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont. Show times are Friday and Saturday 8pm and Sunday at 6pm; tickets are $35. Contact the play's website or call 708.268.0478 for further information. For those who want to join in the fun, or just observe the steppers at work, those who attend the play are welcome to attend a "steppers set" after each performance.

 
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