The history of steppin goes beyond the 70's, but like slavery, we abuse history by stopping at a point before we get into the intricate details of the true dancers who established the dance and allowed it to grow and flourish. My personal experience began before the 70's when my older siblings were doing this thing in the mid 60's when I was not more then 8 or 9. They were bopping (bop) and doing the stride ( walkin) along with several other aspects of the dance that people must learn to appreciate, in fact, they focused more on style and hand control then footwork or turns which is what steppin has currently matured to. This is why when I interview and or archive people like Don Vic, Black Mary, Gene Simmons and many others young and old. I could relate to what they are talking about but at the same time understand that you can't talk about steppin from the 70's up without talking about boppin from the 70's back. That's like talking about slavery without talking about Africa.
We must understand the origin to understand the significance or facts revolving around the value of what we hold. When we fail to acknowledge the whole of anything, we get the half or a small portion of the whole which allow others to include untruths and false witness no different then some of the stories revolving around slavery.
This is why my personal position was never to just dance or focus on the art of steppin which is what many of us do. We must record, we must archive, we must interview and we must hold and preserve without the need to place or devalue steppin to things as minute and contrite as facebook, myspace, or a youtube presentation, adding to the nonsense and ego driven attitudes that has driven this dance into a state equivalent to Black Face.
Many people don't know Steppin's history and refuse to accept it's history even when it's presented to them. The majority seem to embrace the half if not quarter of the story because this way they could get on the stage, dance, turn, wear bizarre outfits, receive peanuts as prize money and define that as boppin or steppin when in reality based on the history of the dance, they lack the full scope of the dance because several aspects of the dance remain absent in many cases. Steppin has so many beautiful valuable and cultural ingredients that it's an injustice when we ignore, neglect or fail to include these things when we embrace this dance from any perspective.
We must listen to those who wrote the book on steppin now and before and every time we embrace our ego arrogance and selfish nature to the point that we or I become more then the dance or the history of the dance, we get what we get, we get the half, the quarter, a lie, a false chapter or a small minute sentence about a story much bigger then all of us. If that is what people want and need to have based on the word steppin. So be it. However, I personally never stop recording, archiving, learning and researching the art of steppin and I never have to be on the main grid to appreciate or embrace this dance because as a child 8 or 9 years old until now some fifty five years plus, I know what steppin is and I know where it came from and I love the people who danced and still dance because they are the history of this dance, the current state of it and it's future. I must love them all for it in spite of.
We all make mistakes with steppin, Sometimes, we talk to much, we talk with to much authority, we present our case to harsh and negative and then expect people to listen to us or respect what we are saying. We act like we know the whole story when we don't and we put the book out anyway. Have you ever heard of a writing putting a book out with half the chapters missing? My point exactly. The bottom line is none of us know the whole story and we must operate and unite as a collective group in order to get it, record it, present it, archive it and market it as the beautiful dance it is. If not we will continue to get the half, the quarter truths and the harsh abrasive overtones from each other about who's right or wrong. However, when we really look at steppin from an honest open minded perspective with appreciation for the dance, we come to understand and accept that no one person knows this whole story, because It's that big. So why don't we all do this. Let's work together to continue to find out the story and all tell it together. Other people do it all the time, It's called unity. KNOW YOUR HISTORY. PEACE!!!!!