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Dance Tue Jul 16 2013

DuSable Museum: Steppin' Under the Stars

Before footworking, percolating, and jukin' became popular, there was steppin'--the smooth--and sometimes, slick and acrobatic--dance style that has been a major part of Chicago's dance culture for decades.

Steppin' is extremely synonymous with Chicago, especially among those of a particular age group; in fact, it is such a part of the fabric of the city's culture that much has been devoted to it, including competitions, balls, television shows, music, and fashion, not to mention you can't go anywhere on the south or west sides without a club having a night dedicated to it. Even the 1997 cult classic film Love Jones (filmed here), which starred Chicago native Larenz Tate, featured an entire scene about steppin'.

While some will inevitably credit R. Kelly with keeping steppin' alive by introducing the art form to the mainstream and re-popularizing it via his chart-topping 2003 hit, "Step In the Name of Love [Remix]," those immersed in the steppin' scene will more than likely give that honor to legendary Chicago DJ and Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Herb Kent, who, in addition to keeping steppers' music in heavy rotation every week on V103 (102.7 FM), once hosted "Steppin' at Club 7," a local show that aired in the 90s on ABC7-Chicago.

To celebrate the cultural significance of steppin', this summer, both seasoned steppers and interested observers can attend the DuSable Museum of African-American History's "Steppin' Under the Stars," a free, monthly dance series featuring the best in steppin' moves and music. The first event, hosted by Kent, will take place this Friday, July 19; the remaining dates are Friday, Aug. 16 and Friday, Sept. 20--all events are from 6pm-9pm. For more information, call 773-955-5610.

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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