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Stepping !

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Steppin Dance History Dancers
Steppin' Dance History Logo

   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.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

Chicago, IL. 1940s n/a Folk/Swing

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

n/a n/a Staten Island Groove (Down To The Bone)
            Be Thankful For What You Got (DeVaughn)
            Bumpin' on Sunset (Montgomery)
            Constantly Steppin' (Mini-Mix)
            Dusty Love (Mini-Mix)
            I'm Glad You Walked into my Life (Spinners)
            $ La La Means I Love You (Delfonics)
            $ Love's Gonna Last (Jeffree)
            $ Ooh Baby, Baby (Smokey & The Miracles)
            Since I Lost My Baby (The Temps)
            $ Slow Drag (Intruders)
            You're The Best Thing Since Candy (O'Jays)

Night Clubs



Secrets (Chicago) n/a n/a

Films / Movies



n/a Steppin' At Club 7 (Chicago) n/a
      Dance Club (Chicago)      



Other Dances of the time...

Bop Jitterbug Walkin' Offtime Dance Swing
Slow Drag DC Hand Dance Cakewalk    

Historic Dancers, Choreographers etc.

Need Info! n/a n/a

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...

Title Author Date Published Publisher
n/a n/a n/a n/a




Song Writers

n/a Spinners n/a n/a

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

African American Dance Dusty Offtime Stepping Walkin'  
Links: Mak3, Steppers Express