Native to the Chicago area, Chicago Steppin'
as it is affectionately known originated in where else ... Chicago, IL. It was
originally known as the "Offtime Dance," which was a
form of a slowed down (or half time) Jitterbug in the 1940s
and later a heavy Bop influence in the 1950s. During the 1950s
it became known as "the Walk" due to its slow walking
appearance with the leader and partner walking around the dance
floor in time to the music, followers walking backwards
and leaders walking forward.
The 1960's brought it all together to form the dance called "Steppin or Stepping". Dancers would dress up wearing Wide Brim Hats, Baggy Slacks, Ties and even long coats. Ladies wearing high stiletto heels (aka fmp's), short skirts to long dresses, basically looking very cool and a lot of swagger. The dance is a very relaxed and smooth form of movement, not the breakneck actions that the Jitterbug can have.
Not all music is good for stepping, but it is a versatile dance when it comes to music, including, R&B, Pop, Big Band, Bop, Jazz, Contemporary dance, Hip-Hop etc. However, like most music, dancers look for certain rhythms in these music forms. The main form of the music is R&B Music. The basic is 8 steps and are counted 1-2-3---4-5-6---7-8, there are 6 count patterns to the music as well. There is a slight resemblance to WCS and Shag, but it is not connected. The dance is African American in nature but does welcomely cross the racial barriers as many other nationality's /races are welcomed and encouraged to partake in this dance. So if you are interested, definitely give it a try.